Friday, March 11, 2016

Art yarns and the Ashford rigid heddle Loom"s new Freedom Roller review

My absolute love of  spinning my own  art yarns and using them in weaving has me experimenting with  the new Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom Accessory the see it on the ashofrd site here Freedom roller. I review how it preformed.
What this cool  addition does  to your ashford rigid heddle loom  is it extends the Cloth beam/roller down so that you can now wind on more than the  normal 3-5 yard max … I  beamed on 12 yards to weave ! YES on a rigid heddle loom and that means bulky yarns too have room on the cloth beams!
Because Ashford has a 2.5 ends per inch heddle large bulky yarns can go though the warp,


I direct warped a 12 yard warp yes a 12 yard wrap on a rigid heddle loom!

 I opened the doors and walked as far out as I could and placed the warping peg on the back of  a stack of chairs!
  This is what the freedom roller looks like assembled on the Ashford rigid heddle loom

go here to buy the ashford rigid heddle loom ashford rigid heddel loom
 to purchase the the freedom roller go here

I chained my warp off the warping peg to beam on

**** I am UDATING this blog ...I was having electrical  power hits when I wrote it and forgot to review several important points.

1) As the cloth beam fills sitting with your legs bent normally  feet flat on the floor in your chair means you will not be able to fit under it quite soon ( with legs bent) after a the freedom roller starts to fill   unless you straighten out your legs ( like a ski slope).If you lower your chair or raise your table you risk stressing your shoulders and neck and arms from odd angles. I prefer my Saori floor looms to weave on with zero pain for 8 hours or more but with ridged heddle looms only using my upper body and no treadles,  I get shoulder pain so I stand  up when I weave on any rigid heddle loom lifting the heddles straight up and down bending from my waist. I mention all of this in an extensive review  I wrote  on Ravelry read my review HERE

2) Ashford makes a wonderful stand for there classic rigid heddle loom with 2 side shelves for shuttles etc. HOWEVER YOU CAN NOT USE THE FREEDOM ROLLER WITH THE ASHFORD STAND . Ashford states this. The loom needs to be clamped on a table.

3) The freedom roller will reach the USA for sale in May 2016. contact your ashford dealers to purchase.
 It will fit only the Ashford non folding classic rigid heddle loom in  these sizes  ….16", 24", 32" ( they are not made for  the 48" looms) they will NOT fit the Ashford sample it or the Ashford knitters loom.

 Look at all that cloth in one piece of of a rigid heddle loom! Amazing 

 Ok finished weaving you can see the cloth hitting the top of the table by the arrow ! A whopping 9 yards of cloth  on a rigid heddle loom and that is NOT including the fringes!!!  If it was a thiner warp you could probably double that amount! Just think you would of have had to have  warped  and threaded your rigid heddle loom many times to have achieved this much yardage  and not have had it one piece.

I had so much fun weaving this piece using my hand spun art yarns  But my body did miss the easy treading and comfort of  my Saori  floor loom .
For my art yarns the Ashford rh loom with the freedom roller sure worked  fantasticly  and very well it held the tension with it's clicker pawls  and  it is reasonably priced !



New updated  fringe twisters in the studio the Lacis cord maker II  check them out in my etsy shop and at  a much lower price! Love my battery fringe twisters .

 Just off my sewing machine ! 3 new LOOM BAGS  see my loom bags up in my Etsy shop here

  To fit the x 60's models

 ... and a new one for the piccolo too

Peaceful weaving in the redwoods
Jill Nickolene Sanders


my Etsy shop


  1. Hi Jill; I bought the freedom roller for the Ashford RHL on a whim. Then, I wondered what to do with it? Now I know...thanks for all the info.

    Leslie Pettie

    1. hi leslie you will love the Freedom Roller! i keep mine on my ashford rigid heddle loom all the time , but it comes off in a few sconds if you want to take it off. you will need to put the plastic tie cord back on the regular cloth beam however, but that is not hard , i just leave my FR on! all the time ! it is wonderful! i wish they had a Freedom Roller for the ashford knitters loom too!
      peaceful weaving

  2. Hi Jill - I also just got a freedom roller to use with my RHL (which is my first loom... I'm very new to this). You said in the comment above that you can put the freedom roller on and off easily, but you need to take the plastic ties off (and put them back on) the regular cloth beam. How do you do that without cutting the plastic ties and needing to use new ones every time to take it on/off? Thanks!

    1. it is easy to get the plastic ties ( actually those are not plastic but nylon ties) out
      what i do is get a pair of needle nose pliers and i push out the tie till i see the "arrow" i use the needle nose pliers and squish the down the arrows and then feed it back into the hole right away then i take the pliers and pull the flat other end till it pulls out. it really is quite easy.i do it regularly .have fun weaving!

  3. I'm just curious. What do you do with fabric that long??

  4. I'm just curious. What do you do with fabric that long?? I am looking at buying a rigid heddle loom and trying to learn more about it, so pardon my ignorance. Also, what is the width of the loom you have (it looks like 16") and do you like the loom, or would you recommend another? Did you have to finish the wood?

    1. i designed and sewed a jacket from this fabric.if you go here i wrote a blog about it you can see the jacket, it sold from my Etsy shop . my ashford rigid heddle loom is the 16" width size with the freedom roller
      i put a water base lacquer on the unfinished wood, or you can put a simple oil wipe on or use the ashford wax here

    2. Thank you so much for your reply. That helps. I love the jacket! I have another question I wonder if you could help me answer. I am interested in purchasing the 10 inch sampleit loom. I want to make jackets and skirts and such. Do you think it would be too limiting to have a 10 inch width and only about 3 yards length? I was thinking I could piece strips together?! I like the compactness of the sampleit and the fact that you could use 2 heddles (for drapier and denser fabric), but not sure if that should be considered more important the width and length that the wider 16 inch ashford gives (with the Freedom Roller). Thanks for any advice you can give.

    3. the Asfhord sample it loomis to restrictive a size for clothing. remember with draw in and wet finishing you lose at least a inch on each side! so 8-7" finished width. the 16" ashford rigid heddle loom or larger and is way more practical for clothing . also you can add the freedom roller too. go here to see
      you can add a second heddle with teh rigid heddle looms too. but s]ashford has a size 15 heddle so really that should be dense enought for finer weaving with out needing a second heddle. i love my sample it loom but it does have length limitatations AND WIDTH TOO.
      peace through fibers

    4. Thanks again. I am now leaning towards the 16 inch, the more I think about it and considering what you are saying. I just have one more question! The only thing I have heard is that the shed can sometimes be a bit narrow on the Ashford because it doesn't have a backbeam (like a Cricket, for example). Have you ever noticed that as an issue? I have a 5 year old son that I want to do some weaving with, as well, so I don't want it to be too narrow/frustrating of a shed.

    5. Oh that back beam thing creating larger sheds is rubbish !
      I used largish boat and ski shuttles with my ashford rigid looms all the models no problem i teach all the with saori looms and ashford rigid heddle looms, children and adults have no problems with the sheds! I had a cricket sold it after 2 weeks preferred the ashfords . In fact i had all the makes of othe RH looms and sold thise kept coming back to the ashfords i paid retail for my looms because i preferred the ashfords! I only became a ashford dealer the second half of last year so i really do love the ashfords now but now i can sell them too! Very happy about that!

  5. Thanks again for your response and feedback. Ashford (non folding) gets solid reviews on Weavution and it is a good price. I just have to figure out if I care about it not being compact!

  6. If a person can afford a saori loom, it sounds like perhaps that is the way to go? I have a Cricket and am in the market to step up to a larger loom now. I spin artyarn and want to design and weave some insane scarves. Can the saori accommodate variable yarn weights? Thank you!

    1. Extreme art yarns will not fit through the Saoro looms bold heddle eyes. The Ashford 2.5 heddle most will fit though.
      You can akways use the extreame art tarns in the weft and bulky in the warp.
      All Rh looms are not the same. The ashford has the freedom roller which in conjunction with with the 2.5 heddle will work . With out the freedom roller you can only do one scarf with bulky warps. Which for you might work if that is the way you want to weave . Warp one one weave one , with the freedom roller you can warp several , 3-5 all at once a longer warp , and they all will fit on the cloth beam then.
      I sell the ashford looms and accessories as well as saori looms in my etsy shop for more details

  7. Thank you--I think the freedom roller will be a must if I go with a rigid heddle loom. But, not being able to use the Ashford stand would be problematic for me.

    1. I sit my Ahsford rigid heddle on a table. I prefer it sitting flat on a table so no problem using the freedom roller , is not a problem . The stand is nice but not being able to use the freedom roller with stand ... well personally i would rather have the the freedom roller then the stand .. that is how much i love it! However you would need to decided for your self . The freedom roller easily comes off in like minute so you could have both!


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