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I am looking to create woven patches as a hobby. I was playing a bit with embroidery patches, but I want to see the difference between the two.

My question is: what would be a starting weaving/looming machine for home use that does not require an entire room to store it?

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You can make a very basic small loom out of a single piece of thick cardboard.

This is ideal for small weaving, around 10cm - 20cm size. You can use it to make small patches (or even small pouches/bags). I learned to do this at primary/elementary school, so it is very accessible.

This gives you a loom that you can use for tapestry weaving. I will explain the basics of how you would start weaving with such a loom, but details of how to weave are outside the scope of the question.

To make a simple patch: Take a piece of cardboard a little bigger (1 cm in each dimension) than the size of the patch you want to make. Cut notches 0.5 cm long, 0.5 cm apart on two opposite edges. Now you have a loom!

A rectangle with vertical notches top and bottom

To set up the loom, you need to add the "warp" threads, which form the basis of the fabric. I would recommend something like knitting yarn for this. Arrange the loom so that the notches are top and bottom. Take some yarn and wind it a couple of times around the top-left notch, ending with the long end of the thread at the back. (This is just to keep the thread secure while you weave. At the end you will remove it from the cardboard and you can weave in the end of this thread.)

Rectangle with vertical notches, with a thread tied around the top left

Bring the thread from back to front through the top-left notch. Then take it down to the bottom left notch and thread it through to the back. Bring the yarn to the front through the second notch on the bottom.

Demonstration of warping a cardboard loom

Bring it to the next notch at the top, round the back and so on... Keep going until you have filled all the notches. Wind a couple of times around the right.

enter image description here

Now you can take your "weft" thread and weave it through under and over starting on the lower right and going through to the lower left. You can use something like a pencil to press the threads firmly down to the bottom. Then weave back from left to right, alternating the over and under threads. Press the thread firmly down again. Keep going until you have filled the card. Then you can remove it from the loom, weave in the ends, and you have a piece of woven fabric.

enter image description here

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There are small portable looms in a couple of different styles. One that my knitting group really likes is the Schacht Cricket Loom. It's what's called a rigid heddle loom - it weaves much like the big room-sized looms you're thinking of. They have 2 sizes, a 10" width and a 15" width. Very easy to use & put away too. Sold on Amazon, Etsy, and most yarn shops have or can get them for you easily. You might find a used one on Ravelry, but they go fast, if you can find one. People tend to keep them :) If you have a local yarn shop, try there first.. they will often have beginner loom classes available.

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for thousands or millions of years, earth-kind have woven fibers. by hand, with a hand-held tool, or a tool typically used in the shade of a tree. Not everyone has had a dedicated "loom room". Videos are limitless online about weaving. Used Frame/tapestry, tabletop, folding floor looms are readily available for sale. A loom can be made with 4 boards, a box of nails, and fiber of some kind. Commercial yarn, handspun yarn either animal or vegetable, even forageable fiber. Again use a search engine. I'm a working fiber artist. I am NOT LACKING IN TOOLS. My collection dates from the 1700s to the 2000s. Stash is an addiction. I am happy to clarify, just ask.

I'm not trying to be vague, but adhering to non-commercial reference rules of the forum.

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