“Jack looms were first manufactured by Ashford over 30 years ago and last made over 10 years ago. At that stage I had a couple of rigid heddle looms and one eight shaft table loom, I did not know that I would need or want a Jack loom and then, of course, they all sold. Jump forward 10 years and I am very excited to have had the opportunity to not only have a Jack loom but also be involved in the redesign of the 2017 model. So what do I think about the new Jack loom?
Assembling – Ashford was a world leader and started the “assemble and save” idea and this continues with the Jack loom. The loom comes in two large cartons. I was able to assemble it with not too much difficulty. I was glad (even though I was very familiar with them from hours of laying out and editing) that I read the instructions all the way through before I began and checked the hardware and identified the parts to make sure I was using the right part in the right place. It was not a 5-minute job but I did get to know the loom quite well in the afternoon it took me to assemble it.
Once assembled, I was extremely satisfied with the ease of attaching my warpsticks, I attached two permanently, one at each end and then connected my end warp stick quickly with the texsolv pegs. I was very happy with the ease of warping and threading. I thought it would be more difficult but it was no problem at all, I did it just the same as I would any of my table looms. The new raddle placement makes winding on a breeze! The raddle and removable cap works very well and I just love the removable beams on this loom (I wish the table looms had this feature). Once threaded and sleyed, I leashed on to the front warp stick and was ready to weave. The first time I tied up the treadles I got down on the ground – this was not so convenient – so the second time I simply tipped the loom onto its front and comfortably and quickly changed my treadle tie up.
Once weaving I found it quite different to the table looms, a lot less thinking required, I was really able to get into a good rhythm so weaving was by far a lot quicker. I found the width was nice, not too wide, if it was any wider I think I would have to move too much when passing the shuttles. I tested the boat shuttles and they were fantastic for the finer yarns, the boat shuttle race works really well (for finer yarn). When I wove the rug (pictured on the loom in the newsletter) I used a stick shuttle 86cm (SHTL8) which I found a good size to handle.
Winding on is so easy!! Simply place one foot gently on the brake and crank the handle and it winds on so easy and evenly.
Initially I was not sure I would enjoy weaving on a Jack loom as I love using our table looms so much, but I did….I really did!! It was just so quick and easy. I was impressed at the ease of warping and threading and I really love the winding on system. So overall I give this loom a big thumbs up!!
I already have 3 projects finished and off the loom and am looking forward to many many more hours of wonderful weaving on this loom!! I just need more hours in my day!
- Kate Sherratt, Sales & Marketing Manager – Ashford Handicrafts Ltd.