Hi all. A weaver from the Facebook RHL group suggested I set up an account here.
My wife is an avid weaver and having learned the craft only about two years ago, she is doing some amazing things and filling up the house with all kinds of looms (more on that later). She use to do a lot of knitting and crocheting but I’ve hardly seen her do any of that since she has picked up weaving. She started with a simple but rather rickety loom given to her by a coworker and took to it instantly. The loom was not easy to use having no ratcheting mechanisms on the beams and it wasn’t very sturdy. Still, she was able to make some amazing pieces on it so that’s what go her hooked. She later acquired a small Cricket RHL and soon after that a huge 4 shaft (expandable to 8) floor loom. She liked the simplicity and speed of the RHL as well as the versatility of the 4-shaft loom. I first got “involved” by cobbling together a ratcheting mechanism for her RHL. Next she asked if I could make her a wider RHL and at the same time, I got interested in 3D printing. Soon I had completed my first loom for her, basically a wider version of her Cricket loom. I used the 3D printer to make handles, gears, heddle reeds and other components and then started designing a folding RHL to build.
I think I’ve built her 4 looms now and she has hopes to start a local weaving class to introduce others to the craft. She was a member of the Facebook RHL group and she told me I should join as well. I did so and posted a few pictures of the looms and accessories I had been making in hopes of getting some feedback on how to improve them and what kind of features people would like to have. I got a lot of positive feedback and then some started asking if I was in the business of selling which I was not. Even so, this got the attention of the group moderators because selling is strictly prohibited in that group. However, shortly thereafter, the group opened up a “sister group” specifically for selling RHL related items. Based on feedback from the group, it was quickly apparent that there is a need for hard to find and/or discontinued loom parts. While it was not my intent to go into business making and selling looms or loom parts, I wanted to help people get their looms back in working order or outfitted with that hard to find heddle that they needed. So, I find myself doing custom orders for all things related to RHL weaving but the most popular items are my heddles and individual reed segments that I can make in any dent size. I also make them in many different styles to match those of specific loom manufacturers including Schacht, Ashford, Kromski, Majacraft etc.
I’ve even branched off into other items at the request of requests by weavers. For example, someone asked if could make shawl pins so I designed several different Celtic-themed pins and these have been well received by others. It was a lot of fun to collaborate to design and make these. I’m not sure what’s next for me but I enjoy the process and am always looking for ideas.