The Back Strap Loom Kit from Harrisville Designs contains everything
you need to make a belt, bookmark, or strap. Included in the package
are a sturdy hardwood loom with a belt tie, 100% cotton weft and
warp, one shuttle beater, and instructions. The loom comes with
two yards of 100% cotton warp that is pre-threaded through a rigid
heddle. The package is labeled for ages 13+, although the directions
indicate ages 9+.
The yarns enclosed in our kit were earth tones and are very pleasing
to the eye. The wooden clamp is made from a lightweight hardwood
and feels very sturdy. Because the loom came pre-threaded, the
user should be able to jump right into weaving. All you will need
to get started are a pair of scissors and something to tie the
warp onto (possibly a table leg.) The directions include instructions
for putting on a new warp so that you can use your kit again - all
you need for additional projects is yarn.
In our family, we do a lot of hands-on projects and have used
a variety of products from Harrisville Designs. I feel that in
comparing the directions from this kit to other kits, these directions
are not as clear or easy to understand. At first I thought it was
just me, but then I asked my 22-year-old daughter, and she could
not figure out the steps right away. We did eventually figure out
how to use the loom, but it was not a quick or easy process.
Despite the difficulties we had in figuring out how to use the
loom, I still recommend it. I do think that for most students,
the 13+ age recommendation is more accurate than the 9+ stated
on the directions. Using a blackstrap loom would be a great accompaniment
to a historical or geographical study of Central and South America.
If I could change anything about the Back Strap Loom Kit, I would
add more pictures to the directions; that would have helped me
to get started weaving faster.