FAQ: Potholder Weaving Supplies

Note: This FAQ has just been added recently and is a work in progress. If have have suggestions for material to add, drop us a line!

What are the standard sizes of loops and looms?

  • Traditional loops are about 7 inches long and are woven in an 18-by-18-loop square that ends up around 5-6 inches across.
  • Pro loops are about 10 inches long and are woven in a 27-by-27 square that ends up around 7-8 inches across.
  • These two sizes of loops can also be combined in various ways. For example, there are oblong rectangular looms that are woven with traditional loops in one direction interlaced with pro loops in the other direction. Multiple loops can also be chained together to weave on larger placemat looms.

Where can I buy loops?

Recommended:

  • Harrisville is the leading vendor, under their Friendly Loom brand. They sell high-quality cotton loops in traditional and pro size. Several package sizes are available, with lower costs per loop if you buy in volume. Loops are sold in their factory store, on their own website, on Amazon [Link], and through various retail stores and online resellers such as Rainbow Resource [Link] and Acorn & Twigs [Link]. Pricing is generally about the same across all outlets.
  • Carol Leigh’s Hillcreek Fiber Studio sells high-quality hand-dyed wool loops in traditional and pro size.

Budget-Conscious:

  • Wool Novelty Company sells both cotton and polyester loops in traditional size.
  • Pepperell Braiding sells inexpensive polyester and poly/cotton loops in traditional size. They’re also private-labeled under other brand names including Creatology (at Michael’s).

Sock Trimmings:

  • Great Northern Weaving sells very fuzzy loops from sock trimming.
  • Solmate sells very fuzzy loops from sock trimming. These are inexpensive, but only available in bulk, and the contents of each order are unpredictable — you might get wonderful loops in colors you love, or you might get a lot of unusable weird bits in colors you hate. Supplies are intermittent. The materials are free but you will pay for shipping.

Where can I buy peg looms?

Recommended Metal:

  • Harrisville sells nice metal looms under their Friendly Loom brand. They’re available in 7-inch/18-peg ($20) and 10-inch/27-peg ($33) sizes and come with enough loops to make two potholders; there’s also a set with a 7-inch loom and enough loops for six potholders ($32). [Direct] [Amazon]

Recommended Wood Frame:

  • Cindwood Looms sells wood looms made with wooden pegs. Make sure you look for their 3/8″ gauge looms, as many of their other offerings have the pegs spaced too widely to be used for potholders. Note that some of their looms have corner pegs, which generally are not used for potholder weaving. The 3/8″ 108-peg 10″ loom (27 pegs/side) loom is $55 while the 3/8″ 72-peg 7″ loom (18 pegs/side) is $42. They also do custom orders if you want a 19-peg or 28-peg version.
  • Cottage Loom Designs makes nice wood looms with steel cotter-pin pegs. They can make custom sizes, including 19-peg and 28-peg layouts as well as oblongs. An 18- or 19-peg loom sells for about $40 plus postage, while a 27- or 28-peg loom is about $50. Their Etsy storefront often appears closed or out of stock; message them directly to arrange purchases. [Etsy] [Email]
  • Jack Hicks makes nice wood looms with steel pins. All custom orders, so available in multiple sizes and pin counts. He doesn’t have a web storefront, but many people have ordered looms from him directly and been pleased with the results. [Messenger]
  • An unbranded wood loom with metal pins is available from multiple vendors on Amazon. The 19-peg size fits traditional loops, but we’re not yet sure whether the 30-peg size will accommodate pro loops. [More Information]

Unusual Sizes / Peg Counts:

  • Homestead Weaver sells nice wood looms with cotter-pin pegs in a variety of unusual sizes, including 16-pin 8-inch looms and 20-pin 10-inch looms as well as oblongs. [Etsy]
  • Great Northern Weaving sells an 8-inch wooden loom with 13 wooden pegs per side. [Link]

Budget-Conscious:

Vintage:

  • Vintage metal looms from Nellie Bee and other vendors are available on Etsy and similar sites. These have a fun mid-century nostalgia vibe, but may not be a reliable choice for modern weavers — some of them are fine to work on, but others are wobbly, and a few have sharp edges.

How can I mark my loom to make it easier to count pegs?

  • You can mark the center pegs on each side of your loom to make it easier to find your place, or mark pegs 7, 14, and 21 on a 27-peg loom, or some other set that will make it easy for you to recognize which peg you are on without counting all the way from the edge. 
  • Depending on the material your loom is made from, you could mark it using a felt-tip marker, or a little daub of paint, or a thin coat of nail polish. 
  • Some people have used pre-printed number stickers to mark pegs on their looms. [Amazon]

Where can I buy long hooks to pull loops through the weave, or short hooks to bind off?

  • To pull loops through the weave you can use a long crochet hook, often called a “Tunisian” or “Afghan” crochet hook.
  • To bind off the edges of a potholder most people use a standard crochet hook.
  • If you have a thin crochet hook, you might find that pinching it in your hand becomes uncomfortable over time.
    • This is especially true of the wire hooks that come with some starter loom packages.
    • Consider wrapping the handle area with twisted-up loops, or tool grip tape ([Amazon]), or something else that provides a thicker, softer area to grip.
    • Alternatively, look online or in a large hardware store for a “pin vise,” which is a reusable handle with a twist-to-tighten socket at one end, like the part of a drill that grips the bit. You can use these to hold the end of wire tool or a thin crochet hook. Versions are available with plastic and wood handles. Some have little egg-shaped or knob-like handles, while others are longer like a screwdriver handle. Make sure you know the thickness of your hook to find a handle that fits it. Available on Amazon for around $5 to $20.
    • You can also look online or in a large hardware stores for “replacement tool handles” or “file handles” that just have an open hole drilled in one end. If the hole is the right size, you can drip a bit of wood glue or epoxy into it and then slide the end of a crochet hook in and let it set overnight.

Where can I buy hanging rings?

  • Metal rings, around 1.0 – 1.25 inches across.
  • Metal key rings or split rings, around 1.0 – 1.25 inches across.
  • Wood rings, typically around 1.25 inches or 30-35mm across. ([Amazon 1], [Amazon 2])
  • Flexible silicone rings, around 0.9 – 1.25 inches across ([Amazon])