As the name suggests, the Leclerc Compact floor loom is a fully functional floor loom designed for applications where space is limited. This includes small apartments and homes or those where the loom needs to be easily made available for weaving but can be quickly folded up and stored in a closet or other small space. The Compact is an excellent teaching loom and is used in many University and College weaving programs.
The Compact is a Jack loom available in either 4 shaft or 8 shaft configurations with a weaving width of 24 inches (61 cm). It is a fully functional floor loom with foot treadles, a full tie-up system and brake like those found on Leclerc's larger floor looms.
The Compact is also an excellent alternative to a table loom for home or portable use in courses or conferences as when it is folded its small size makes it easy to transport. There have been many enhancements to the Compact loom design over the years, many are highlighted below. These make the loom a very functional and cost effective loom for a wide range of weaving applications.
Easy Folding - The Compact "X" frame provides stability for weaving with front and back aimed legs spread to its 35 inches of depth. When not in use, the weaver can simply loosen two knobs on the side of the loom and raise them to cause the whole frame to narrow down to 22 inches reducing its footprint by almost 150 percent. Re-tightening the knobs locks the loom in the folded position and the folding action engages the loom's wheels making it ready to travel!
While many smaller looms fold to reduce the amount of space they take up when not in use or to make the loom more portable, the ease at which the Compact folds makes it much more likely for the weaver to regularly do this. Looms that are not as intuitive, involve a lot of steps, or require the weaver to consult the manual to figure out how to do it can fold up but are often not. Because the Compact can be folded when warped in the middle of a project, folding it up simply becomes part of the weaving process.
Click here to see a video showing how the Compact loom folds up.
Wheels Included - Wheels at the bottom of each of the Compact loom's 4 legs provide an easy way to roll the loom around when not in use or when the loom is being stored. These wheels only touch the floor when the loom is fully folded so the loom stays still and stable sitting on its foot pads when in use. Engaging the wheels is as simple as folding the loom!
These wheels, the ability to fold the loom up while warped and in the middle of a project and the small footprint it takes up when folded makes the Compact the perfect loom for small spaces. The wheels also make it handy to roll the loom around when travelling to different locations or workshops.
The wheels are included on every Leclerc Compact loom at no extra cost and do not alter the loom's height so you don't have to choose between height and mobility.
Friction Brake - The Leclerc Friction Brake employs a metal cable wrapped multiple times around a Brake Drum on the end of the Warp Beam (left picture). A spring pulls on the cable holding it tight against the drum stopping the warp beam from rotating. Depressing a Foot Treadle near the weaver's right foot allows the Brake Cable to expand slightly in diameter allowing the warp beam to rotate. The weaver can then use the Take-up motion handle to advance the woven cloth onto the cloth beam when it grows too close to the beater. All this can be done by the weaver while sitting at the loom eliminating the need to get up or reach too far.
When winding on the warp, the brake can be disabled by simply unhooking the cord attached to the spring where it attaches to the loom frame. The warp beam will then turn freely in either direction. The Warp Beam Advance Control, described below, can be used to adjust how easily the beam rotates.
The Compact also includes Leclerc's unique Warp Beam Advance Control mechanism (right picture) that prevents the warp beam threads from unravelling when the brake is released. Located on the left side of the loom, the adjustable control adds friction to the Warp Beam reducing its ability to spin out out of control when releasing the brake on a highly tensioned warp. This saves the weaver from having to get up, go around to the back of the loom and rewind the warp onto the beam when it happens. Note that the Advance Control can be easily removed if not needed for a project.
Take-up Motion System - The Take-Up Motion system on the cloth beam of the Compact loom is constructed with metal parts for durability and long life. A Frame Pawl acts on the Ratchet Wheel on the end of the Cloth Beam preventing it from rotating in a direction that would unwind the woven cloth. A Take-up Motion lever with another pawl, located near the weavers right hand allows them to wind more cloth on the beam. Both the Take-up Motion handle and the frame pawl can be easily flipped out of the way when weaving is done to unwind the finished fabric (inset in picture).
Once the weaver finds that they have woven as much as they can, they simply depress the brake treadle with their right foot and then use the Take-up Motion handle to wind the cloth onto the cloth beam moving the fell line closer to the breast beam creating more room to weave. Then by lifting their foot off the brake treadle they are ready to resume weaving. All this can be done easily without getting up from the loom allowing the weaver to maintain a rhythm with only minimal interuption.
Heddle Flexibility - Like all Leclerc looms, the Compact uses Shaft Frames which is a removable wooden frame with a pair of Heddle Support Bars that the Heddles thread on to. The Shaft Frames fit into vertical slots in the castle and are attached to the Jack/Lam mechanism below. Because of these, the weaver is not restricted as to what type of heddles they are allowed to use. Other simpler loom designs replace the shaft frames with a pair of sticks at the top and bottom which limits the weaver to Texsolv heddles.
The basic loom comes with wire heddles but can be upgraded to either Texsolv or Inserted Eye wire heddles. Any heddle type can be easily switched in the future if the owner changes their mind.
Because the Shaft Frames can be disconnected by removing one nut, it is very easy to remove one or more Shaft Frames from the loom to add or remove heddles. Two Shaft Frames can be placed on a table and with a couple of pieces of string, heddles can be transferred between the two or additional heddles can be added easily in the future. This is much easier than simple loom designs that require the heddles to be added to hanging shafts on the loom.
Flexible Heddle Support Bars make it easy to slide across any type of heddle while warping. Special Heddle Spring Clips are then engaged to make the bars rigid during weaving when the warp tension tries to bend them (see picture to far right).
Full Flexible Tie Ups - Some smaller looms use a cheaper "skeleton" or direct tie-up mechanism where each treadle lifts a single shaft and multiple treadles must be depressed if multiple shafts must rise. This mechanism is similar to a Table Loom design where the weaver must depress multiple levers down each pick. The Compact is not limited in this way (try pushing down 3 treadles!) and any of the treadles can be used to lift any number of shafts which is determined by how they configure their "tie-up".
Like all Leclerc floor looms, two more treadles than the number of shafts are configured so there are 6 on the 4-shaft and 10 on the 8-shaft model. A set of treadle cords allow the weaver to connect each treadle to one or more lams above it so that when the treadle is depressed, it will pull down the lam(s), which will raise the jack causing the shaft frame to lift.
This gives the weaver the flexability to construct a tie-up plan for their project which allows them to then depress one treadle for each pick in an easy to remember sequence that produces the pattern they desire. This design greatly improves the weaver's output and reduces weaving errors.
Shed Adjustments - A number of enhancements to the loom have been made over the years to allow the weaver to optimize the shed size.
A set of screws on each side of the beater (left picture) allow the weaver to adjust the height of the reed to ensure that the warp threads are perfectly positioned by the base of the reed to provide a level path for the shuttle to travel. These screws are easy to access as they are at the top of the loom and Leclerc even provides a screwdriver to quickly adjust them. The base warp threads are also supported by a shuttle race underneath.
To get the perfect shed the shafts, when raised, should form a upward set of steps as the weaver looks towards the back of the loom. Each shaft attaches to the jack below using a set of nuts (right picture) that can be used to fine tune the height of each shaft. This is done in the factory, but the weaver can make adjustments later if required.
Unlike in older versions of the loom, these nuts also attach the shaft frame to the jack mechanism and ensure that the weight of the jack pulls the shaft down to help reduce floating shafts.
4 to 8 Shaft Economical Upgrade Easy - Rather than use a narrow castle that has to be replaced when expanding the loom, the 4 shaft Compact loom is a "4+4" design with the same castle as the 8 shaft loom giving it room for the 4 extra shafts. This makes upgrading a 4 shaft model easier and less expensive as only the lam/jacks, shafts and treadles need to be installed. The Upgrade kit includes all the parts as well as instructions on how to install them.
Treadle Springs - On multiple harness looms, a mechanism is usually required to ensure that when many treadles are connected to a single lamm, their weight does not cause the shaft to lift when not required. This mechanism cancels out the weight of the treadles but must still allow them to be depressed when required. Unlike other looms that use lower cost elastic bands, the Compact uses similar metal springs as used on Leclerc's larger floor looms.
As well as being more reliable and lasting much longer than the cheaper alternatives, simply shortening or lengthening the Texsolv Loop cord where it attaches to the Jack Box allows to weaver to easily "enable" or "disable" the spring on a treadle if necessary. The springs can then be set depending on the tie-up used, only using them when required.
Sectional Warping Capable - The Compact loom can be warped by conventional means where a warping board or warping mill is used to produce the warp and then the warp is installed on the Warp Beam using the Front-to-Back or Back-to-Front method.
In addition to this approach, the Compact can be used for Sectional warping where the warp threads are directly wound onto the Warp Beam an inch at a time by installing a set of 4 "sectional rakes" on the Warp Beam and using a Tension Box attached to the back beam to wind the threads off a set of spools. This approach can be faster and can better handle longer warps.
The rakes are attached using pre-drilled holes in the warp beam and the Leclerc Tension box can be added to the back beam with an adaptor that positions it correctly on the Compact angled back beam.
Raddle and Reed Selection - A wide range of Reed options for the Compact loom means it can adapt to a wide range of fabric and yarn types. Stainless Steel Reeds are available in 13 Imperial sizes (4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, and 25 dents per inch) as well as 4 Metric sizes (3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 dents per centimeter). The reed is installed in the beater and can be easily changed by simply loosening a set of wingnuts at the top of the beater and lifting the upper batten.
When warping "back to front" and a Raddle (optional) is used, the Compact loom is designed to allow the Leclerc Raddle to be mounted in the beater replacing the reed during the warping process. This holds it securely by clamping it in place the same way that the reed is held.
Table Loom Alternative - Table looms are often preferred by weavers who are space limited and want a smaller loom. Often these looms are mounted on a stand and while some can add treadles, they are often operated by hand controls. The ability of the Compact loom to function as a full floor loom with foot treadles but shrink in size and roll away when not use makes it a very versatile loom. The small footprint of the folded Compact loom (33 x 22 inches of floor space) in many cases takes up less space then the loom stands for other table looms.
In addition to the smaller storage size, the Compact price is often lower in cost than prices for conventional table looms and stand combinations. The feel of a floor loom like the Compact is much more solid and because when unfolded the depth almost doubles, the loom feels much more stable.
The ability for the weaver to focus on throwing the shuttle with their hands while controlling the shafts with their feet speeds up the process allowing them to get into a rhythm that is not really possible with a table loom. In addition, the ability to depress one treadle to lift multiple shafts instead of flipping multiple levers greatly improves the speed and accuracy of the weaver.
For portability, the Compact when folded easily fits in most SUVs and most cars with hatchbacks and the wheels make it easy to roll to different locations or to take to workshops. At about 75 pounds it can be easily lifted into a vehicle by two people and is ready for weaving in minute or two.
High Quality Materials - All Compact Looms are made primarily from Maple hardwood and metal giving them a very solid feel and the durability and strength required for the physical forces that occur during handweaving. The only plastic parts are washers and the shaft guides.
Unlike other looms, Leclerc does not use elastic bands and plastic for moving parts that have to be replaced when they fail. Metal is used for the Take-up and Braking mechanism for durability and strength. The wood is beautifully finished showing off the grain, making them fit the decor of any living space and proving that function and beauty aren't mutually exclusive.
The focus on quality materials is why so many Leclerc looms are still in use almost a century after they were manufactured!
Lots of Extras! - All Compact looms come with a larger number of heddles (see chart below) than most other similar sized looms, A Heddle/Reed hook, heddle transfer bars, lease sticks, assembly instructions, all tools required, a Stainless Steel Reed (12 dent unless specified otherwise) as well as a Boat Shuttle.
Leclerc's instruction book Warp and Weave is also provided as well as Treadle Cords and all the cords and rods for lashing the Cloth and Warp Beam.
Tools and Accessories
While the most important component of handweaving is the weaving loom, a number of other tools and accessories are required to create a warp, put it on the loom and then to weave a fabric with it. There are also a number of different approaches and special requirements for different types of fabric.
As well as a wide variety of weaving looms, Leclerc produces all of the tools that are required by the handweaver. They have been designed to work together and to allow the weaver with the maximum degree of flexability.
See our Weaving Tools Checklist for a description of the warping and weaving process to understand which tools are required at each stage and why.
If you are new to weaving, this guide gives you a very quick summary of what is involved in preparing the loom and weaving the fabric. It helps ensure that you have the right tools at the start to be able to work through the process without interuptions while you source the tools you need to be able to continue.
The dimensions and ordering information for the two different version of the Compact loom are listed below:
|Loom||4 Shaft (4+4)||8 Shaft|
|Width||Weaving||24" (61 cm)||Overall Loom||32 3/4" (83 cm)|
|Depth||Open||35" (89 cm)|
|Folded||22" (56 cm)|
|Height||Open & Folded||36 1/2" (93 cm)|
|Front Beam||29 1/2" (75 cm)|
|Weight||72 lb (32 kg)||84 lb (38 kg)|
Every Leclerc Compact loom ordered from Camilla Valley Farm comes complete with the following extras to get you up and weaving immediately:
These options can be added to your order to expand the functionality of your Compact loom.
|COMPACT LOOM OPTIONS||ORDERING
(Instead of Wire)
|Double Warp Beam||1057-0000
|Sectional Warp Beam Kit
|Clip Temple System||6146-0000
|4 to 8 Shaft Upgrade Kit||1023-0000
(Height can be set between 21 and 25")
(Height Adjustable between 21 and 26 3/4")
Check out our Manual Section for downloadable assembly instructions for this and other Leclerc looms and weaving accessories. Information is also provided on upgrades and accessories. If you are not sure which Leclerc loom you own see our Leclerc Loom Guide to help identify the model.
Over the years, Leclerc has improved the design of the Compact loom. Many of these items are available as upgrades. The links below provide more information.
|CAN'T DECIDE? Contact us for help in answering questions about this loom, getting information
about others or for help recommending a loom matched to your weaving level and needs.
See our Leclerc Loom Comparison Chart for more help in deciding which loom is right for you.
How to Order:
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