Spinninglizzy's Weblog

Falling down the slippery fibre slope

A Tale Of Two Looms

It’s official: the Kromski 24″ Harp loom is no longer mine, but has found another home.  And, as promised, here is a pictorial comparison of the Kromski to Hedy, my 20″ Schacht rigid heddle loom.  (Below: left, Schacht; right, Kromski.)

First of all, It’s an “apples-to-oranges” comparison, since the The Kromski is a newer, folding loom, while my Schacht is an older version that does not fold.  For more of an “apples-to-apples” comparison to the Harp, Schacht makes the Flip loom that has many of the newer features.

A summary of the major features the Kromski has that my Schacht does not have: the Harp folds, is more portable, has holes drilled on its underside for pegs so it may serve as a warping board, and accomodates a second heddle after installing a second set of (optional) heddle blocks.  Except for doubling as a warping board, I believe the Flip has all the other features the Harp has.

The Kromski folded:

The folding and locking mechanism:

The Kromski has many ornate details and turnings, whilst the Schacht line is more Shaker styled.

My Schacht 20″ heddle measures 20.75″ (notpictured below.)  I happened to have a heddle for the 25″ Schacht (rigid heddle) loom; it measures exactly 25″ across.  I measured only the plastic part of the heddles, since that would give the most accurate representation of actual weaving width.  However, I found that the Kromski 24″ heddle has a measurement of only 23.25″  (All are 12-dent heddles.)

The heddle of this Kromski is one of their original ones, with more curved, sloping details on the wood top of the heddle.  I understand the newer heddles do not have this shaping.  (A cost-cutting measure, perhaps?)

The Kromski has a much shorter length between cloth (front) beam and heddle than the Schacht.

The Kromski’s length from heddle to back beam is only a little shorter than the comparable length on the Schacht.  I talked to the folks at Schacht and my understanding is that the Flip is very close in measurement to their regular rigid heddle loom of the same size.

ETA: A friend on Ravelry just pointed out to me that the Schacht has a front and rear beam, on top of the vertical frame, that lifts the warp and produces a better shed.  I completely agree with her that this is a major selling point.

I think the Kromski is made of fir or beech, while the Schacht is made of maple.

The stands made for the Kromski rigid heddle looms are unique to each size; this 24″ loom stand will not fit the two other Harp sizes (16″, 32″).  The stand for my 20″ Schacht loom will also accomodate the 25″ size, as well both sizes (20″ & 25″) of the Schacht Flip looms.  The Kromski stand is drilled with holes on the base on on the side to store the warping pegs it comes with.  Kromski literature states that pegs installed on the sides of the stand can be used as a rest for shuttles or to hang extra tools.

The Harp may be quickly released from its floor stand by loosening (but not taking apart) four bolts and then lifting the loom off the stand.  The Schacht requires you to loosen and completely remove four bolts (two of which require a screwdriver) before you can remove the loom from the stand (this is definitely bothersome).  The stand for the Harp wins the quick-release contest hands-down, but this also means the Schacht stand is stronger.  You can tell just by looking at the two stands that the Schacht stand is stronger and much more sturdy.   Both stands will adjust for variable height and angle of loom, but because the Schacht has brace bar is slotted so it can slide (see the picture above), it can allow for many more positions between the extremes of level and almost 45-degree below that, whilst the Kromski only allows fine-tuning of the level position.  To be sure, most rigid heddle weaving is done with the loom at a level position, so I don’t know if using the steeper angles are useful for anything besides possibly tapestry weaving.

Kromski stand and quick-release closeups:

Closeups of bolts that need to be taken out to release the Schacht loom:

Although the Harp weaving width is larger than the Schacht, and can accomodate two heddles for more complex designs; I am partial to my Schacht for her strong, clean lines and maple wood.  Personally, the curlicues of the Harp distract and do not speak to me, which is why I opted not to keep it.  Mostly an emotional preference I cannot explain, but there it is.

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2 November 2008 - Posted by | Weaving | , , , , , , , , , , ,

30 Comments »

  1. Nice comparison. Several years ago I bought a secondhand kromski harp to have a loom for 4 H new weavers. I just gifted it to a friend who has a marvelous eye for weaving but who would never think to get herself a loom. I hope she likes it:)

    Comment by Suzan | 2 November 2008 | Reply

  2. Dear SpinningLizzy,
    I’m 3 lessons new to weaving— found your awesome blog when i was researching the purchase of my Rasmussen table loom.
    Wondering where you get the corrugated cardboard roll pictured in your last entry.
    thanks so much:)
    kathy

    Comment by Kathy | 4 November 2008 | Reply

  3. Hi Kathy, you can purchase the corrugated paper roll at an art or packing supply store. Because it’s corrugated, it’s OK as long as you **don’t** ratchet up the warp to tapesty loom tension.

    Are you buying a new Montana (Rasmussen) loom? I just saw a new one today, and I have to say it’s beautiful. It’s essentially the same as the Rasmussen, but the finishing and some of the turning parts are more beautifully made. Like putting an Audi engine into a Porsche body. It was so lovely, it was difficult to leave it — however, the prices of used compared to new is like comparing a bicycle to a Range Rover.

    Comment by SpinningLizzy | 4 November 2008 | Reply

  4. This will be great information for people who are rigid heddle loom shopping. It’s just the sort of thing I wished my google searches had turned up when I was looking for them.

    Comment by Trapunto | 6 November 2008 | Reply

  5. I bought and sold my Harp after only one project. (it was my 3rd or 4th rigid heddle in 35 years) The only part I liked was the fancy curved top to the heddle! Sold my Rasmussen a few weeks ago, bought a Baby Wolf. Now knitting hubby is asking why I sold the RH loom. He’s getting interested. Anyway, you did a very nice write up!!

    Comment by kitkatknit | 9 December 2008 | Reply

    • kitkatknit: Thank You! A Knitting husband and soon-to-be weaver! Quick — run out and buy him a loom now!

      Comment by SpinningLizzy | 9 December 2008 | Reply

  6. Knitting Hubby update. I bought him a 16″ Ashford RH loom for his 12/17 birthday and the legs for it for Xmas. He’s just waiting for some nice weather (read – no snow) so he can lighly sand and stain them both.

    Comment by kitkatknit | 29 December 2008 | Reply

  7. He must be very patient — it would kill me to have to wait so long to warp a new loom. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with!

    Comment by SpinningLizzy | 29 December 2008 | Reply

  8. Anyone have some comments on either of the Glimakra rigid heddle looms? I;m especially interested in the Emilia with a double heddle as a sampling loom. And does anyone know if they’re ever available used?

    Thanks!

    Susan

    Comment by Susan Berlin | 2 February 2009 | Reply

  9. Susan, you might try signing up for a Ravelry account — there’s been some talk of the Emilia there, although I didn’t pay much attention. Also, Amelia has one of these looms; you might check out her blog, http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/ .

    Comment by SpinningLizzy | 2 February 2009 | Reply

  10. Hi Susan,

    I have an Emilia, too, and I really like it.

    Comment by Jen | 15 February 2009 | Reply

  11. Susan,
    I can’t see from your pictures, but the longer weaving distance from the rigid heddle to the ‘front’ of the loom, actually looks like the back of the loom. Are you using the Schacht backwards to get a greater weaving space? Or am I wrong?
    Cherri

    Comment by rivercityweaves | 25 March 2009 | Reply

  12. Cherri,

    I’m not sure if you meant to address Susan or me (Elizabeth, aka SpinnningLizzy)?

    About my pictures of the Schacht rigid heddle loom above, if you are facing the front of the loom, the rectangular turn handles (for both front and back turn rachets) should be on your right.

    I’m not sure if the Schacht could be used backwards comfortably, since the heddle block is so much closer to the back than it is to the front.

    Comment by SpinningLizzy | 26 March 2009 | Reply

  13. Great write up and follow up comments. I’ve had two lessons on RH and I am researching which loom to purchase. Signed up for the Ravelry site – have to wait to be invited to join. Thought I wanted the Kromski it’s beuatiful now having second thoughts. Saw the Glimakra Susanna on another site now trying to find out about that one. Will now also have to look up the Rasmussen so many choices. Also, what about size? I want 30 something for those wider projects and I’ve been discouraged – thoughts are go for the 20 to 24 inch. What are your thoughts? For a newbie it’s so hard to chose since it all seems more personal choice.

    Comment by MIckey | 15 May 2009 | Reply

  14. Hi Mickey, are you asking about the size of a RH or table loom? For table looms, small is really OK! I’m very happy with my two small Structo (8″)_looms — the reasoning is, you’ll probably find it easiest to do most of your weaving on a treddled loom. For a RH loom, if you have the room, I’d get the larger Schacht with a stand, although you may eventually want a smaller one for travelling (I hear the 15″ Flip is small enough for air travel!).

    Comment by SpinningLizzy | 15 May 2009 | Reply

  15. I have a question. What is the length of a 25″ wide rigid heddle loom?
    thanks,
    Renee

    Comment by renee | 2 October 2009 | Reply

    • Hi Renee,

      My 20″ Schacht has an overall width of 25″, and length of 31″. I’m not sure of the measurements for the 25″ Schacht, but I would suspect the length wouldn’t be much longer. (I’d say the width would be about 30″.)

      Comment by SpinningLizzy | 2 October 2009 | Reply

  16. i’m shopping around for a RH loom. thank you for this post – it is useful information for me in making my decision.

    Comment by jen | 19 January 2010 | Reply

  17. Even today your post has helped me make a decision a that I was almost sure to make. I think that Schacht is a great loom, I have a cricket and there are a lot of good things I can say about the little fellow. I will save my money and purchase the Flip 25 which is what I want to buy. I may have to buy it in installments, but I know I will be happy on the long run.

    Comment by Crafty Andy | 24 September 2011 | Reply

  18. I am trying to decide which loom to buy, I was actually considering these 2 and when I searched it found your blog. So basically you prefer the Schacht to the Harp because you like the sturdiness and look of the Sanacht more, was that the only thing that swayed you?
    I ask because I was originally leaning towards the Sanacht, but have began to lean more towards the harp. Thanks!

    Comment by Cheroka | 15 September 2012 | Reply

    • Hi Cheroka, the Harp is a lighter (in weight) than the Schacht, if that’s a consideration. The Schacht has a better shed because two extra wood pieces, one near the warp beam and the other near the cloth beam. These lift the threads to improve the shed. But, they are both great looms!

      Comment by SpinningLizzy | 15 September 2012 | Reply

      • I am new to weaving. What do you mean by shed?

        Thanks!

        Comment by Dwell in Safety | 15 September 2012

      • The shed is that triangular separation of the warp threads (vertical threads) through which you pass the weft (horizontal threads). A larger shed means weaving is faster and easier, you can use a larger shuttle, and may also mean less likelihood of missed thread mistakes.

        Comment by SpinningLizzy | 15 September 2012

  19. owner of a Kromski RH, purchased it on line. Love it, had to get it, my ancestery is Poland, and I have lots of family there, maybe family made it!!! I think they call it Alderwood wood, not sure though. Thanks for such a nice comparison, Job well done, Have you ever heard of a Nelli Sergeant Johnson Loom?? I have one,

    Comment by Sandra | 26 February 2013 | Reply

  20. I realize this is an older post, and I appreciate your evaluation, but felt I should point out for others benefit that the kromski harp loom is made of Alder wood which has in fact the strength of maple but the look of pine:) I have also been trying to decide on which loom to purchase and found your review helpful, I think I may still go with the kromski loom as I like the design better:)

    Comment by Dedee | 3 May 2013 | Reply

  21. I have just be given a Kromski 24 and I put it together (was pretty simple all in all) I find the shorter length you mentioned better for the space i have to weave in .. I love the delicate look but as one of the other post states Alder wood is very very strong so not worried about it being delicate at all. I know many folks who have found the Kromski harp a real work horse.. I know you are correct about design preference I love a Lovely looking piece of wood. Not that simple clean lines are bad but if I can weave on a beautiful loom why not ?.

    Comment by Joyce Gentile | 11 September 2013 | Reply

    • I weave all the time on my Kromski, love the quietness of a rigid heddle, the ease of warping it, and the finished product is always a joy. Not to mention the lovely style. Had an accident with it, it survived with lots of dings, chips and nicks, but it is still “ticking” the truck and campter were totaled but the Kromski, survived!!!!

      Comment by Sandra | 12 September 2013 | Reply

      • I’m another person that is in love with Kromski. I have the 32″ Kromski Harp. I stumbled upon this review, while researching rigid heddle looms. I found your review informative. I still chose the Kromski since it appealed to me and I must say I’m thrilled with my purchase. It took about an hour to put it together and soon afterwards I was weaving my first project. It’s quiet, keeps good tension and I love the finished project. Bonus points that I can fold and put away or carry with me quite easily if I so desire.

        Comment by Opal | 31 December 2013

      • So glad you like the K. too. I like the way it holds the tension and the different warping process. I want to try to use the two heddles to see what I can do different. It looks good in the book, but when I make something from the book, it usually looks like I need to re read the directions or take up a new hobby. Happy New Year!

        Comment by Sandra | 1 January 2014

  22. I see that this is an old post but….the Kromski has the capability for 2 heddles if you buy the extra heddle blocks. 2 heddle capability is built-in to the Schacht Flip…essentially a 4 harness loom when you buy the extra heddle.

    Comment by Deb | 27 February 2015 | Reply


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