Making my weaving loom

img_2478Having made my second loom I posted it in the Facebook group of OCA Textiles students and was advised to blog it as apparently it looks OK … it certainly works OK happily!

My first basic frame loom was simply made with two sets of tapestry stretcher bars from Hobbycraft which were 22 and 20 inches long and slotted together but I added masking tape to the corners for strength.  In addition I used a simple 1/8 x 1 inch strip of wood from B&Q for 2 shed sticks and a length of dowel with loops of warp thread for a heddle bar as I mentioned in my blog for Stages 1 and 2 of Project 9.

The second loom was more complex and done because I was constantly looking down at the frame loom as it did not have the strength to open the sheds without being wedged against a door or my desk draw and this looking down caused neck and shoulder pain.  So having looked at various images on google I drew up a simple plan for a simple A-frame loom and adapted for my needs.

img_1491The wood used was 1/4 x 1.5 inch fencing wood cut into 4 lengths of 28 inches each – the wood was actually left over in my neighbour’s shed.

The side lengths had been joined at the top in two pairs before the side bars were put in place and I also checked to see if this would give me the angle of the loom at that I required.

The top and bottom bars were cut from a long length of 1/2 by 1 inch and cut to 20 inches which was the same width as my frame loom and suits my personal requirements at this stage in the course.

For the side bars at the bottom I used the same 1/2 by 1 inch  of wood but cut to 12 inch lengths and then screwed in place to each of two side lengths at the front and back.

A further 24 inch length of the same 1/2 by 1 inch wood was cut finally to be used as the top bar of the weaving.

I marked 1 centimetre marks along both the top weaving bar and the bottom horizontal bar for warp threads to be wound around.

When it came to warping up the loom I wound some warp thread around the top weaving bar and loosely wrapped it around the top of the frame as this would provide the tension and then warped up the loom as usual.  When the loom was warped up I was able to use the wrapped thread around the frame and top bar to adjust the tension of the warp to my requirements and this worked well as I could adjust it relatively easily when required.

My heddle bar and shed sticks are the same used with the frame loom.

A further small adjustment after the first two samples has been the addition of nails at the marked intervals on the two  bars through which the warp thread will now be wound as this will keep the thread in place and prevent some gathering during the weaving process.  I decided against using notches as this had the potential to shred the warp thread if not sanding sufficiently.

For weights to hold the frame steady I have just been using a couple of books as my desk is unable to take clamps but this does work sufficiently well.

Further adjustments may be required due to a recent whiplash injury but this I will blog as required.  Fortunately due to the way I have worked this loom I can place it on different work surfaces as required and hence adjust the height at which I work at.

I plan on making a third smaller version of this loom for working smaller small samples for my theme book when required to see if they work.  This smaller frame will also be useful for smaller finished pieces too.

img_4447An unexpected update to my loom experiments was the simple discovery of Amazon packaging which makes for a very basic cardboard loom of the right stiffness!

The only thing I need to adjust with this simple loom is cutting an extra piece of card and using it as a heddle ‘thread’ at the start to keep the weaving even and also prevent it being pushed to the bottom of the card as each row is done – a wooden dowel the same width of the card would also work well as a heddle.  This type of  loom enables me to make smaller sample pieces and as my whiplash injury heals it will be used more regularly.

The warp threads are wound around the cardboard and are held in place top and bottom with simple notches in the card.  The warp on the back of the card has the option of being used with a second sample if space is allowed for cutting the threads and finishing them as required.

This entry was posted in Coursework, Part 4, Project 9, Research & Reflection. Bookmark the permalink.

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