Friday, June 01, 2001

Jun 2001 - Take a loom home.

Sometime in June 2001, my bestfriend convinced me to buy this home made weaving loom for $60 at a local garage sale. The pile of dirty wood looked much better already after scrubbing and assembling it.

Over a period of 20 months, I managed to slowly bring this monster back to life. Wooden ratchets needed a replacement, rusty heddles and reed got a good cleanup (CLR is great for light surface rust) and of course new strings. I also spent a lot of time researching the web about weaving, what an interesting topic!

I quickly found out that my loom had the look of a Swedish loom with it's tall frame and hanging beater. But no further similarities, a jack loom mechanism with hanging rigid frames and metal heddles. I was already hoping for a counterbalance or a mystical countermarch... how is this mysterious one working?

Planning my first visit to the weaving supply store, I was hoping to finally meet with someone who'd be interested in hearing about my loom fixing story, so I brought with me pictures of my loom and a list of what I thought I needed to buy. But there I met a rather sceptical saleslady saying: "this reminds me of an old barn loom, you expect to weave with that?" I finished loosing her attention completely when I mentioned I fixed it myself and had desires to convert it into a countermarch some day: "Why do you want to do that?". To experiment and learn! I left after only 20 minutes with all I needed: a shuttle!

Finally came the day when we got both ready (the loom and I) for a test drive. I built a warping frame, fixed it onto the back of the loom and made my first warp.

I turned a strip of wood and a few nails into a rattle, clamped it to the back beam and warped the loom. Not bad eh? After a few adjustments (tie, untie, tie, untie...), it worked!

I've got to bring a picture of my bobbin winder the next time I go back to the store. Just to see the lady's face ;-)