The 5 Best Rigid Heddle Looms in 2023 (October)

Best Overall

Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom

A quality and durable loom with a wide length for versatile weaving, but not foldable.
Best for Beginners

Schacht Cricket Loom 15-inch

A compact, beginner-friendly loom with a smaller weaving width, but it doesn’t fold.
Best Compact

Ashford Sampleit Looms

An affordable, compact, and easy-to-use loom, ideal for beginners and experienced weavers.

The Best Rigid Heddle Looms

Weaving is experiencing a renaissance of sorts in the western world, with various looms available for beginners and professionals alike. Owning a loom allows weavers to create complex weave structures, which was initially done on floor looms that took two people to operate.

Luckily today, there is a variety of rigid heddle looms, and table looms that are smaller and more economical than their larger counterparts. Before choosing a rigid heddle loom, it’s essential to know what to look for, such as weaving width, if it’s foldable for portability, price, and type of wood it’s made out of, which will determine how much upkeep it might need.

Rigid Heddle Looms

Rigid heddle looms are excellent for those just entering the world of weaving due to their ease of use. The main difference between a rigid heddle loom and a table or harness loom is that the rigid heddle completes two primary functions, the first is to create the opening or eye for each warp yarn strand to pass through and to control the shed to ensure even warp tension and an even warping process.

A rigid heddle loom is supported by a heddle block that guides the heddle in an up and down motion within the rigid heddle reed. The heddle reed functions to secure the cloth and store it. While not as fast as a harness loom, a rigid loom can still create beautiful weaving patterns, especially if using a second heddle.

A table loom has separate variable dent reeds that are not combined on a rigid heddle loom. This small detail limits the types of designs created on a heddle loom.

Fun Fact: All non-mechanized hand looming techniques were first invented in South America over 12,000 years ago.

The same as a two-harness loom, a rigid heddle loom with one heddle allows for more warp threads and weft threads to be woven.

A second heddle kit allows for more complex weaving, although a single heddle is sufficient for plain projects.

Rigid Heddle Weaving

Rigid Heddle Loom

For those new to weaving, there are specific terms that are commonly used in weaving that are important to understand. The first is that weaving involves warp threads that run east to west on the loo; the second is the weft that is woven into the warp. Weaving happens when one of the following actions are completed:


Shedding is the act of employing heddle blocks in an up and down motion to create a space between the yarn so the pick can be woven through.

Picking or Shuttling

Sometimes called either shuttling or picking due to the parts of the loom used, picking is using a pick or stick shuttles to pass the weft through the warp. Some stick shuttles have one or two threads held by a bobbin or woven around the shuttle, releasing the weft yarn as the stick passes through the warp threads.


Pushing the warp to the base or fell of the cloth with a rigid heddle or reed is called battening.

Warping Peg

A warping peg secures the threads and ensures even warp ends, especially for bulky yarns.

Cloth Beam

The cloth beam ensures an even warp, similar to the warping peg, by tightening the woven fabric. The cloth beam is usually located at the base of the loom.


The reed has two functions, similar to a rigid heddle. The first is to keep the dents even, and the second is to feed the pick to the base of the cloth.

Rigid Heddle Weaving Width

The rigid heddle weaving width ranges from 10–48-inches wide. The smaller the size loom, the easier it is to learn weaving. Although, a wide loom provides more options to weave broader projects.

Weavers also can purchase two stick shuttles, a loom stand, or a heddle option for the different types of weaving patterns. Most larger looms come with threading hooks, warping pegs, table clamps, yarn, and weaving instructions.

Rigid Heddle Loom Yarn Thickness

A general rule for using bulky yarns is to use a five dent rigid heddle. A rigid heddle with a lower number is designed for thicker yarns. Weavers can go a bit higher for worsted yarns, between eight and a 10 rigid heddle. When purchasing additional heddles, be sure to order the correct one as the knitter’s loom is different than a standard rigid heddle loom.

The Best Rigid Heddle Looms on the Market Today

1. Best Rigid Heddle Loom Overall – Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom

Ashford rigid heddle loom

Selection Criteria

  • Price – ~$290 – Our score: 9/10
  • Weaving width – 32-inches – Our score: 9/10
  • Foldable – No – Our score: 7/10
  • Wood – Unfinished Silver Beech – Our score: 8/10

About Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom

Ashford looms are the industry standard for rigid heddle looms. An Ashford loom is known for its quality, durability, and ease of use, depending on the model. This rigid heddle loom is economical and made of all-natural silver Beechwood to be stained or left unfinished. This loom comes with reed nylon, two shuttles, a threading hook, a warping peg, and one clamp.

It’s important to note that an Ashford knitters loom isn’t the same as a regular rigid heddle loom. Some differences are that the cog and pawl ensure there’s always tension with or without warp. What’s more, a knitters loom folds, whereas this rigid heddle loom does not. Another essential feature is that the warp runs from the warp beam to the cloth beam with all Ashford looms, which provides an angle while weaving. As the warp gets larger, the angle is reduced.


      • Has a wide length for a variety of weaving projects
      • Can warp over 100 inches of fabric at a time
      • Comes with a double heddle option
      • Following the included instructions are simple enough to begin weaving
      • Easy assembly


      • Does not come with a loom stand
      • Does not fold and requires a lot of space to use

2. Best Beginners Cricket Loom – Schacht Cricket Loom

Schacht Cricket loom

Selection Criteria

  • Price – ~$243.34 – Our score: 7/10
  • Weaving width – 15-inches – Our score: 8/10
  • Foldable – No – Our score: 7/10
  • Wood – Unfinished Maple and ApplePly – Our score: 8/10

About the Schacht Cricket Loom

This Schacht Cricket loom is the right rigid heddle loom for a beginner. Anyone investing in their first rigid heddle loom will appreciate the compact size, smaller weaving width, and weaving capabilities of this Schacht Cricket loom. Note that this loom does not fold for those looking for portable looms, but the Schacht flip loom does.

Schacht looms, similar to Ashford looms, have an excellent reputation for quality in the weaving world. Beginners can start weaving plain weaves after about 15 minutes of a quick assembly.  This loom comes with stick shuttles, a threading hook, a warping peg, a reed, and yarn.


      • Doesn’t take up too much space
      • Assembly is easy
      • Excellent even for a small child
      • Is economical


      • Does not fold

3. Best Affordable Rigid Heddle Loom – Ashford Sampleit Loom

Ashford Sampleit Loom

Selection Criteria

  • Price – ~$210  – Our score: 8/10
  • Weaving width – 16-inches – Our score: 8/10
  • Foldable – No – Our score: 7/10
  • Wood – Unfinished Silver Beech – Our score: 8/10

Beginners or experienced weavers alike looking for an affordable loom will like the portability of this Ashford Sampleit loom. This loom comes with an already built-in second heddle kit that allows weavers to double the width, thickness, or inches of fabric. This rigid heddle loom includes a threading hook, warping peg, and two shuttles. Note, the second heddle must be purchased separately.

Weavers can quickly use up their yarn stash with this easy-to-use rigid heddle loom. Even though they are both Ashford rigid heddle looms, there are slight differences in the extra parts. When purchasing additional parts, be sure to buy for the Sampleit loom and not the Ashford knitters loom.


  • Compact and portable
  • Includes warping pegs
  • Includes a second heddle
  • Assembles in under 30 minutes


  • May need sanding to smooth out the unfinished wood
  • It’s very light and may need to be clamped to a table for more stability

4. Best Large Rigid Heddle Loom – Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom (48 inch)

Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom (48 inch)

Selection Criteria

  • Price – ~$704.90 – Our score: 7/10
  • Weaving width – 48-inches – Our score: 9/10
  • Foldable – No – Our score: 7/10
  • Wood – Unfinished Silver Beech – Our score: 8/10

About Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom (48 inch)

Ashford rigid heddle looms at this size are for weavers who have a lot of space to work on their weaving. This piece comes with a loom stand, a trestle stand to be clear, that due to its design helps make weaving on a loom this size more manageable and more stable.

Experienced weavers can create rugs, scarves, wall hangings, or even large throws for a bed or sofa. This rigid heddle loom can also accommodate double heddle blocks, with each heddle block available for purchase as part of a rigid heddle kit. In addition, this loom comes in different loom sizes, including 16, 24, and 32 inches.


      • Includes a loom stand
      • At this size, there are unlimited weaving possibilities
      • Despite the large size, it’s still lightweight at 22 pounds
      • Is easily assembled


      • Larger loom that takes up a lot of space

5. Best Folding Rigid Heddle Loom – Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom

Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom


Selection Criteria

  • Price – ~$315 – Our score: 8/10
  • Weaving width – 16-inches – Our score: 7/10
  • Foldable – Yes – Our score: 9/10
  • Wood – European Alder Wood – Our score: 9/10

About Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom

As far as folding rigid heddle looms go, this Kromski is an excellent choice. This loom is small enough to be folded, similar to a knitters loom, for greater portability. Weavers can purchase a second heddle kit to warp yarns into more complex patterns.

The loom comes with a warping board, one rigid heddle, two shuttles, warping board pegs, a warping peg, threading hook, clamps, and a pick-up stick.


      • Designed with magnetic ratchets and pawls
      • Foldable
      • Great for experienced or beginner weavers alike
      • Can be too small for complex weaving projects


      • Cost of shipping is extra


This wraps up our guide to the best rigid heddle looms. Not only have we discussed how you could identify different kinds of rigid heddle looms, but we’ve also shared our recommendations in various contexts.

We’ve discussed how you can choose the best rigid heddles and why these critical deciding factors are essential, including weaving size, foldability, price, and type of wood. We’ve outlined them thoroughly to help you understand them easily.

Lastly, we’ve combined our recommendations in different situations. So whether buying the best rigid heddle loom for beginners, looking for a large loom, or even an affordable option, we’ve discussed it all.

Thanks for reading; we hope our suggestion helps you purchase the best rigid heddle looms for your next project.

About Lauraine Velez

Lauraine is a freelance writer with a strong background in the arts. Lauraine is currently finishing her novel and has been exploring different art mediums for over two decades. Her favorite art activities include drawing, painting (especially watercolor painting), designing haute couture clothes, photography, and designing and creating gifts for family and friends.

In addition to Lauraine's expertise in art, she has experience in commerce content, grant writing, and health and wellness. Before becoming a freelancer, Lauraine held various positions in large and grassroots organizations locally and abroad.