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Choosing Knitting Yarn for Your Rigid Heddle Loom

One of the most fun parts about weaving on a rigid heddle loom is getting to experiment with versatile knitting yarns for your warp and weft. Although most knitting yarns we carry will work fine on a rigid heddle loom, not all knitting yarns behave well on the loom, particularly as warp.

Here are some things to be aware of when picking out knitting yarn for warp on your rigid heddle loom:

Number of Plies

Yarns are stronger when they have more plies. Some single ply yarns can break under tension as warp. Additionally, loosely spun single-ply yarns can shred when you weave due to the friction between the rigid heddle and the warp ends. You are more likely to have success with a warp yarn that has at least 2 plies.

Spin Consistency

Art yarns that are spun thick and thin can have weak spots and can break. Overall, you will have better luck with a yarn that is spun consistently.

Fiber Content and Elasticity

Acrylic and some synthetic blends tend to be stretchy. They aren’t likely to break on you, but it can sometimes be difficult to tie onto your loom with a consistent tension with one of these yarns. Stretchy yarns can also look thinner under the tension as warp, so it can be tricky to get your sett (ends per inch and picks per inch) right. Superwash wool can also have the same effect because superwash treated wools are very stretchy. Particularly if you are a beginner, consider trying yarns that are non-superwash and have no acrylic to start.

In love with a yarn you see online but still not sure it will work? Try it! We suggest buying just one skein and making a small sample swatch on your loom (10” long). Take note of what happens as you weave. If all goes well, order enough for your project! If it doesn’t pass muster, consider using that yarn as weft in your project instead of warp.

Below is a list of knitting yarns that our customers have reported success with as warps on a rigid heddle loom. This list is by no means comprehensive, just a launching point. Any of the weaving yarns we sell on cones are also suitable for warp. If you want a safe bet, try one of these. If you have had good luck with other yarns that we sell and are not on this list, let us know by emailing

Bulky (~5 dent reed)

Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca

Berroco Ultra Alpaca Chunky

Tahki Yarns Hatteras

Worsted (~8 dent reed)

Valley Yarns Ashfield

Valley Yarns Northampton

Berroco Sesame

Cascade Yarns 220

Valley Yarns Montague

Berroco Summer Sesame

Valley Yarns Goshen

DK/Sport (~10 dent reed)

Valley Yarns Sunderland

Valley Yarns Hampden

Berroco Medina

Valley Yarns Westhampton

Valley Yarns 3/2 Cotton

Universal Yarn Bamboo Pop

Lace/Fingering/Sock (~12 dent reed)

Valley Yarns Charlemont

Valley Yarns Huntington

Valley Yarns Huntington Splash

Valley Yarns Hatfield

SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock

Maysville 8/4 Cotton Carpet Warp

Universal Yarn Bamboo Pop Sock

Universal Yarn Bamboo Pop Sock Solids