My new Kliot Tapestry Loom arrived from Lacis. I watched a video of this loom in use on YouTube. I was surprised when I read in the comment sections that someone couldn’t figure out how to put it together. If they can’t figure out how to assemble this loom, I have no idea how they ever learned to weave. I was amazed how smooth the wood is. I didn’t find a single spot that needed additional sanding, so rare. There are some nice features on this loom: A simple warping frame on the back, a shedding device, removable legs, easy to tension upper and lower beams and round tension knobs. It seems very sturdy too.
It measures 22 inches wide from outside edge to outside edge, and 30 inches tall. It advertises the widest possible weaving width at 20 inches. A warp that is 20 inches wide will completely fill the loom; while 20 inches may be possible, 18 is more realistic. Since the warp can wrap around the loom It can weave a longer length than the looms height. On the video they mention 56 inches as a maximum length, the instructions claim 60 inches, and the box claims, “virtually any length”. 56 inches seems reasonable, this gives 4 inches of space to tension the warp properly. I’ll need replacement elastics, these are the parts that will wear out. I don’t want that to happen in the middle of a project. It’s good to have spares on hand of any part that wears or stretches. They call them, “size 64 elastics”. After looking them up on Google, They seem like common rubber bands. I’ll have to pay the office supply a visit. The elastics are for the shedding device and hold the legs on. The legs are nifty. They go on the top portion of the loom, but can be located where ever you need them really. They have a cutout that fits over each support, once it’s fitted where you want it, an elastic is used to hold it in place.
The warping frame on the back is pretty smart. It’s actually textured pegs, generally used in construction of furniture. I think the texture is good as it reduces the warps tendency to slip off a peg. The pegs are on the short side and while they claim to hold 100 to 150 warps, that number is pushing it. With the sett I normally work with and the size of warp, I will probably look for longer pegs to replace those with soon. I made a ton of heddles for my first weaving. These are reusable, making these only once is a blessing. I’m surprised the warping pegs aren’t spaced to provide the perfect jig for making these heddles. I used a cork board and T-pins to make a jig. I’m instructed to cut 10″ and 11″ lengths and tie a knot at the end. The last thing I want is to have 60 heddles across my weaving – all slightly different lengths. So I cut one of each size, made a heddle and measured the finished size to know the size to make my jig. I wrapped my string around the jig, cut leaving enough length to tie a surgeons knot, then an overhand knot just above that, and cut the ends short. I used Baroque crochet cotton. Baroque is the most elastic crochet cotton I’ve ever used, it’s “super Mercerized”, color-fast, and has a high twist. Baroque is strong, smooth and inexpensive. I’ve seen it in white and Ecru. On the video, she used Baroque for the warp and heddles, everything but the weft. I might use the ample amount of left over to try my hand at some Puncetto Avorio, an Italian needle lace – made with only a needle and thread.
The shedding device is unique. It consists of two narrow hexagonal blocks with two holes. The heddles are attached to the two heddle rods, and these rods are inserted into the blocks. These blocks rest on the side supports of the loom held in place by two elastic bands, one on each side. The shedding device is used by turning the blocks, this raises one half of the warp and lowers the other half. The center or neutral position keeps one half of the warp only slightly raised. It clacks a bit when you use it as the blocks are held very tight to the supports by the elastic. This is why I’m certain I’ll need replacements. Once these stretch out, the shedding device will be useless unless they’re present and tight. I wish the blocks had an additional way to stay atop the supports; the supports are narrow and the blocks slip off easy until the bands are properly installed. If the loom was bumped hard it wouldn’t take much to knock them off. Perhaps I’ll look for longer pegs to insert into the back for the warping frame and find a way to add something to the supports to prevent them from getting knocked off. After all, the best thing about smaller weaving projects is their portability.