Joe and I taught ourselves to weave when we bought a used loom in 1993, and I've been hogging the loom ever since (which is probably why Joe stopped).
Our loom needed some minor repairs, so we got to learn the mechanics of weaving. Since then I've bought several more used looms, most of which have needed some work, and none of which were very expensive. I recommend used looms--the price is half the cost of a new loom, or less.
The book I taught myself from was Learning to Weave, by Deborah Chandler. I would recommend this as a first book for any new shaft-loom weaver. I used Warp and Weave, by Robert Leclerc for help with sectional warping, but I believe this is now covered in newer editions of Learning to Weave.
My other favorite books for the self-taught weaver are:
A Handweaver's Pattern Book, by Marguerite Porter Davison
A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns, by Carol Strickler
The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers, by Madelyn van der Hoogt
There are tons of resources on the web, and the key to nearly all of them is Ruthe's Collection of Weaving Resources. I will list a few of my favorite resources here anyway:
Ralph Griswold's Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics
Sources of Loom Building Plans
Joanne Hall's site with info on loom types (counterbalanced, countermarch, jack, etc.)
The Handweaver's Guild of America
The Loom Manual Library. Janet Meany's collection of manuals for old looms
Tim's Treadle Reducer helps you find a tie-up when you don't have enough treadles
Want to get started weaving, but don't have a loom? Here are some techniques which don't require a shaft loom:
Make your own tapestry loom
...and more at Phiala's String Page.
How to Find a Used Loom
I've found used looms through the local free ads paper, and also on the web site below. You may also find ads for weaving equipment on your local weaving guild web site, or your regional association of weaving guilds' site. When buying a used loom, be sure to check it out in person, preferably with an experienced weaver friend, before buying.
Spinners' and Weavers' Housecleaning Pages
Saori Weaving This is a weaving style dedicated to free self-expression.
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