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Author Topic: 4 or 8 shaft loom?  (Read 365 times)

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
4 or 8 shaft loom?
« on: November 16, 2016, 09:26:12 am »
I am thinking about buying myself a new 32 inch ashford table loom but can't decide between a 4 or 8 shaft one.

There is only about £50 difference between the two so logic would say get the 8 shaft but would I really use 8 shafts?

I am not a great weaver and am wondering is 8 would be a step too far.

Any of you great weavers out there got an opinion?
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Louise Gaunt

  • Joined May 2011
Re: 4 or 8 shaft loom?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2016, 11:34:58 am »
I am not a great weaver, just a beginner, so not sure how valid my view will be! I have a four shaft Weavemaster I bought from eBay, and so far it has met my beginners needs. However, if I were to progress I would move up to eight shafts, as it just gives you greater flexibility. My weaving teacher is very keen on having binder threads to give a firm selvedge. With eight shafts you can work a four shaft pattern plus have your binder threads on separate shafts for instance. I rpthink you need eight for double sided cloth etc. I would go for eight, it just gives you the greater scope for developing your skills, although many weavers produce complex designs with only four!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: 4 or 8 shaft loom?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2016, 11:45:23 am »
You could get the 4-shaft and never run out of patterns to weave.

But yes, if you want to do doubleweave (double width, or a tube, and so on) in patterns other than tabby / plainweave, then you would need 8 shafts.  And there are, of course, many more gazillions of patterns available to you with the extra shafts.

If you can afford the £50, I would most definitely get the 8-shaft.  If you've got competing uses for the £50, though, then you might want to think about it a bit harder.

It's also worth mentioning that the Ashford stand and treadles a) only offer direct tie-up (one treadle per shaft), and b) only offer treadles for 4 shafts.  So if you'd been planning to use the loom foot-driven, the extra 4 shafts would still need to be hand-manipluated.  (I suspect this doesn't apply in this case, but thought I'd add it for any subsequent readers coming across this thread.)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: 4 or 8 shaft loom?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2016, 11:49:19 am »
I have a 24" 8-shaft and a 16" 4-shaft with stand.  The latter is for sampling, small projects and for taking out and about, and I decided I would get the available secondhand 4-shaft one, as most workshops and so on are likely to be fine on only 4 shafts so as to be applicable to most people.  I think I would always want 8 shafts for a wider loom, just to give that flexibility.  Plus I know I want to do doubleweave twills :)

ETA my sister now has a 16-shaft.  I'm not sure if I'm envious, or just think my head would explode!  :D
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
    • Facebook
Re: 4 or 8 shaft loom?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2016, 11:58:00 pm »
I would say go for the higher number of shafts. You have far more versatility.

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: 4 or 8 shaft loom?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2016, 08:02:11 am »
Thanks Lesley, seems to be unanimous for the 8 shaft and the good news is OH has said he will buy my loom for Christmas  :)
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: 4 or 8 shaft loom?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2016, 10:28:57 am »
Looking forward to seeing what you weave on that Bionic  :wave:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
    • Facebook
Re: 4 or 8 shaft loom?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2016, 11:11:31 pm »
Thanks Lesley, seems to be unanimous for the 8 shaft and the good news is OH has said he will buy my loom for Christmas  :)


Woohooooo! I should hang on to him, Sally, if he buys you gifts like that.  ;)

 

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