Which backstrap loom is the best for me?

Since we started offering backstrap weaving kits in 2020, we’ve added a few different types of looms, and have understandably received questions about them. Have you been wondering the difference among the different looms we offer? We’re here to explain and help you choose the best option for your practice and goals.

1. Practice Backstrap Loom

This is the “original” loom we started with when we made this pivot to offer at-home weaving kits. We designed the loom in practical and achievable measurements, and we think they make excellent wall hangings when finished, with all the tools still intact. These looms are made at Lake Atitlán with naturally-dyed cotton and ikat designs in the warp. The included weft is naturally-dyed in indigo.

This is an excellent choice for beginners who want to practice Plain Weave. We think the softer hues make these looms especially apt for home decor. $60 per kit with all materials included.

2. Brocade Backstrap Loom Kit

This is the loom of choice for intermediate weavers ready to practice supplementary weft brocade! Each loom has been prepared by master weaver Doña Lidia and her family from San Antonio Aguas Calientes. The main difference for this loom is that it comes with two additional sheds created with the “pepenado” rods, seen at the top of the loom. These extra sheds facilitate many brocade figures, and others can be woven by picking up the warp with the included wooden needle (so cute in quetzal form!). $85 per kit with all materials included, and we also have the option listed online for choosing your custom colors.

Looking for a little extra guidance for brocade? We produced professional videos that show how four important local motifs are created with Doña Lidia. Purchase the access through our PDF guide for $15.

The best option for weavers ready for brocade!
Optional: add a brocade sampler to your loom purchase for $30. These are the exact figures covered by Doña Lidia in our PDF guide for intermediate brocade, and are helpful to have on-hand for counting stitches and following directions on the screen.

3. Kids’ Practice Backstrap Loom Kit

As the name suggests, these looms were designed with children in mind for beginner Plain Weave. The looms are smaller for narrower waists and the warp is arranged in a way that makes picking up the “chocoy” (string heddle) easier for the smaller-bodied. Also priced affordably in-line with our committment to making art education as accessible as possible. Made with naturally-dyed cotton just like our original Practice Backstrap Looms. $40 per kit with all materials included.

4. Handspun Cotton Backstrap Loom Kit

Made with organic and local handspun cotton, these looms available in natural white and heirloom ixcaco brown are truly special! Prepared by our partner weavers at Lake Atitlán, these looms are made for the eco-conscious intermediate weaver ready to take on a little challenge. Working with handspun fibers is a bit harder. Namely, the string heddle can collect fuzz from the warp fibers easily, making even plain weave a bit more challenging. Weavers should pay attention to all the little movements made during the weaving process in order to limit the lint from collecting. $80 per kit with all materials included.

Available in natural white cotton and heirloom ixcaco brown cotton, while supplies last – we are heavily dependent on local harvests for this loom, production is very limited.

5. Make Your Own Loom Kit

This kit was developed for our “Intermediate Loom Set-up” online class with Doña Lidia. After we received requests for this class, we realized we should make a material to go with it. And ta-da! The Make Your Own Loom Kit was born. The kit includes everything you need to build your own loom, with the warp already prepared, the sticks and rods carved into perfect size, etc. Prepared by Doña Lidia and her family, these kits are $65 each. You can also choose custom colors on the product page.

Questions? Comments? Let us know by emailing hello@kakawdesigns.com and/or joining us in our Backstrap Weavers group on Facebook.

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