That Makes Ten Looms

If you count the inkle looms, and the one in the garage awaiting renovations…

I was going to build my own 16 shaft loom, but then this came up on Gumtree.

It’s a 16 shaft Leclerc Voyageur. The one I was going to model my homemade loom on. I doubt that there are many in the country, so to have one come up for sale in my own city was unusually good luck.

It has so many cool features. Levers that don’t get in the way of threading. A front and back that fold up for transport (though at 16 kg it’s not a loom I’d take to workshops – if any were happening). Magnets to hold the levers in place. However, accessing shafts to switch heddles around is insanely difficult and I am considering how that might be made easier. I dislike making string heddles as it is, but the thought of trying to tie one onto one of the middle shafts inside such a deep castle is a strong motivation to find solutions.

I had to order a table to put it on. When that arrives I will weave a few projects on it before deciding which of my 8 shaft looms I sell – the Katie or the Jane. I’d have sold the Katie without a question a year ago, but I’ve learned since that both looms have pros and cons, and I find it’s not an obvious choice. You really need to use a loom for a while to really assess its suitability for your needs. So I won’t be selling any table loom until I’ve used the Voyageur several times. In fact, I’m thinking of using it for the next class project, even though that means only using four shafts. It’ll get me familiar with everything but using the full 16 shafts, before I launch into a all-shaft project.