Floor looms are best used for producing longer lengths of fabric, for production work, designs that are more complex and for carpets and rugs. The loom must be solid and stable. Three different types of floor looms are: Jack, Counterbalance, and Countermarch.
Jack Looms: The shafts on a jack loom operate independently from one another. The “jack” is a lever that pivots to raise and lower the shaft. Stepping on a treadle causes the jack to pivot, which in turn raises a shaft. Since the shafts only move upward, these looms are sometimes described as rising shed looms. The one exception is the Louet David Loom, which is actually a sinking shed loom. Jack looms are typically not recommended for rug weaving and other projects that require either exceptionally high warp tension and/or heavy beating due to the uneven tension of the two warp layers (top and bottom of the shed). Jack looms also have the ability to produce unbalanced weave structures. (i.e. Waffle Weave, 1/3 Twill)
Counterbalance Looms: The shafts on a counterbalance loom are typically connected to each other via pulleys. Stepping on a treadle will lower one shaft which also raises another shaft. Counterbalance looms are easier to treadle than jack looms due to the balanced nature of the shaft movement. Counterbalance looms have difficulty producing unbalanced weave structures. (i.e. Waffle Weave, 1/3 Twill)
Countermarch Looms: Each shaft on a countermarch (aka countermarche) loom is connected to either a lamm that raises shafts, or a lamm that lowers shafts. The countermarch, along with the jack, offers the greatest tie-up range. This results in a wide variety of weaving pattern possibilities. The countermarch combines the light treadling action of a counterbalance with the weaving pattern complexity of the jack loom.
Things to consider when selected a floor loom.
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