Deciding if and which Swatch Maker Loom is right for you depends on your goals, aspirations, and budget.
- All looms, tools, and accessories are made and assembled in the U.S. from Maple. They are shipped in recycled or recyclable materials.
- The flat, stiff backing makes it easy to work on your lap.
- The backing provides a stiff frame to support the warp and allows you to create fringe without it interfering with the weaving process. Although you can warp the loom so you have a fringeless finish, when swatching for projects made on a rigid-heddle loom, testing the fringe is really valuable.
- The sett platform is raised off the backing, giving you room to maneuver your tools.
Here are the advantages and disadvantage of each loom:
SWATCH MAKER LOOM
- Faster to warp full-sized sized swatches
- Easier to cram or double-up your yarns, increasing your sett study options
- Available in a mini version
- It is more expensive to buy all three looms to gain the three setts
- More looms to keep track of
SWATCH MAKER 3-in-1
Note: The Swatch Maker 3-in-1 is out of stock. Due to supply issues I’m consolidating the Swatch Maker line and will be introducing a new set of smaller swatching looms. I may or may not bring back the 3-in-1 looms. You can read more about the reasoning behind this change in this post.
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- Includes the three most common setts for rigid-heddle weavers
- Allows you to weave sett comparisons side-by-side (I recommend that you weave them separately and not at the same time since the PPI can differ from sett to sett)
- A less expensive option to have three setts at the ready on a single loom
- Less bulk to carry around
- The holes require more time to warp. Threading the warp with a needle instead of wrapping the yarn around the loom take about 3 times as long as warping the slots.
- It is more challenging to double your yarns in the holes.
- The holes cause a little more abrasion than the slots, but that does mimic a similar kind of stress the yarn will endure on the loom.
- Inelastic yarns stiff yarns such as linen can be tricky to thread with a needle. If it is too stiff to thread via the needle, it is generally stiff enough to thread by hand. (The same is true of using a heddle hook on a rigid-heddle loom when threading the holes in the heddle.)
I’m not here to try to sell you on this line as the only swatching tools, just making the tools available to you that I use myself. All of these tools can be DIYed to some extent. You don’t have to buy a fancy loom to weave a swatch, and you can use your existing loom to sample.
After years of doing this, I was thrilled to use a loom that comes in the setts I most frequently use, requires less yarn than a sample, go where I go, hold up better than my looms made from nails hammered into frames or created from cardboard, and don’t require me to adapt more open setts in existing frame looms—the most common setts you will find are 5, 6, and occasionally an 8.
If you are interested in learning more about how and why to swatch, check out, A Weaver’s Guide to Yarns. A new class on swatching is coming to the Yarnworker School in December of 2021 at the Yarnworker School.
To shop the loom line, visit www.yarnworkershop.com.