Weaving looms can range from quite simple to very complex. Looms have been used to produce cloth for thousands of years and while technology has improved the loom, the basic strategies and practices remain much the same. Understanding the parts of the loom can help you learn to weave or simply learn a bit more about how weaving works.
The warp beam is a beam that holds the warp, or vertical threads, on your loom. Depending upon the loom, this can be a simple beam or a more complex arrangement allowing for easier warping of the loom.
Heddles are made of cord or wire and are attached to the shaft of the loom. The warp threads pass through the heddles, separating the warp threads to allow the weft threads to pass between them easily.
The more harnesses or shafts a loom has the more design possibilities you will have. Most larger looms are 4 harness looms and table looms often only one; however, looms up to 16 harnesses are available.
The shuttle is a bobbin which holds the weft yarns. The shuttle is passed or thrown back and forth to create the weft of the fabric.
Beater and Reed
The beater of the loom presses the newly created weft thread against the already woven fabric using a reed. This process is called battening.
With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.