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I've been reading your blog for the last few days! Love your work and all the coorlus! My scraproom nook looks like a bomb has hit it and I love it!

Draper power loom in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA
A woman in Konya, Turkey, works at a vertical loom

A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads. The precise shape of the loom and its mechanics may vary, but the basic function is the same.


The word "loom" comes from the Old English "geloma" formed from ge-(perfective prefix) and loma, a root of unknown origin; this meant utensil or tool of any kind. In 1404 it was used to mean a machine to enable weaving thread into cloth.[1] By 1838 it had gained the meaning of a machine for interlacing thread as in weaving, knitting or lacemaking.[2] In greek mythology, the loom was the symbol of Athena, and in Roman, Minerva.

Oh, I would love to learn how to tablet weave. My gratgdaudhner would love to learn also. I've been checking the web and your blog for how to information. Could I please have the instructions to make this loom ?And I'm still not sure how to thread the cards ?Thanks, so much I love your work. I'm am also a beginner wheel spinner. Your site is great !!

Parts of loom[edit]

sley of lay, shuttle, shuttle box, picker, reed, warp beam, back beam, breast beam, cloth beam, heddles, harnesses.

Types of looms[edit]

Back strap loom[edit]

A back strap loom with a shed-rod.

A simple loom which has its roots in ancient civilizations comprising two sticks or bars between which the warps are stretched. One bar is attached to a fixed object and the other to the weaver usually by means of a strap around the back. On traditional looms, the two main sheds are operated by means of a shed roll over which one set of warps pass, and continuous string heddles which encase each of the warps in the other set. The weaver leans back and uses their body weight to tension the loom. To open the shed controlled by the string heddles, the weaver relaxes tension on the warps and raises the heddles. The other shed is usually opened by simply drawing the shed roll toward the weaver. Both simple and complex textiles can be woven on this loom. Width is limited to how far the weaver can reach from side to side to pass the shuttle. Warp faced textiles, often decorated with intricate pick-up patterns woven in complementary and supplementary warp techniques are woven by indigenous peoples today around the world. They produce such things as belts, ponchos, bags, hatbands and carrying cloths. Supplementary weft patterning and brocading is practiced in many regions. Balanced weaves are also possible on the backstrap loom. Today, commercially produced backstrap loom kits often include a rigid heddle.Template:Citation needed

This is a bit like the inkle loom we constructed in our occopatiunal therapy course (long ago). These fabrics are a long way from the little straps, ribbons and belts we made! Exquisite thanks for sharing all these lovely photos.


A drawloom is a hand-loom for weaving figured cloth. In a drawloom, a "figure harness" is used to control each warp thread separately.[3] A drawloom requires two operators, the weaver and an assistant called a "drawboy" to manage the figure harness.


  1. Wood frame
  2. Seat for weaver
  3. Warp beam- let off
  4. Warp threads
  5. Back beam or platen
  6. Rods – used to make a shed
  7. Heddle frame - heald frame - harness
  8. Heddle- heald - the eye
  9. Shuttle with weft yarn
  10. Shed
  11. Completed fabric
  12. Breast beam
  13. Batten with reed comb
  14. Batten adjustment
  15. Lathe
  16. Treadles
  17. Cloth roll- takeup

A handloom is a simple machine used for weaving.In a wooden vertical-shaft looms, the heddles are fixed in place in the shaft. The warp threads pass alternately through a heddle, and through a space between the heddles (the shed), so that raising the shaft raises half the threads (those passing through the heddles), and lowering the shaft lowers the same threads—the threads passing through the spaces between the heddles remain in place.

Flying shuttle[edit]

Hand weavers could only weave a cloth as wide as their armspan. If cloth needed to be wider, two people would do the task (often this would be an adult with a child). John Kay (1704–1779) patented the Flying Shuttle in 1733. The weaver held a picking stick that was attached by cords to a device at both ends of the shed. With a flick of the wrist, one cord was pulled and the shuttle was propelled through the shed to the other end with considerable force, speed and efficiency. A flick in the opposite direction and the shuttle was propelled back. A single weaver had control of this motion but the flying shuttle could weave much wider fabric than an arm’s length at much greater speeds than had been achieved with the hand thrown shuttle. The flying shuttle was one of the key developments in weaving that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution, the whole picking motion no longer relied on manual skill, and it was a matter of time before it could be powered.

Well, looks like you're on the East Coast, but if you can make it out here to the Pacific Northwest, I'm sure you'd get a pretty warm wcelome. There's Fiber Fusion coming up at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, WA, and you just missed the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene We'd love to see you. I especially would, as I also spin on a PVC wheel ;D

Ribbon weaving[edit]


I do trust all the ideas you have introduced in your post. They are ralley convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too short for newbies. Could you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

Hi Laura, I ran into you a year ago at the Tate Modern and mislaid your dtaeils which I found again today. I love your work. It's inspirational!NamasteBert

Jacquard looms[edit]

Template:Main The Jacquard loom is a mechanical loom, invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1801, that simplifies the process of manufacturing textiles with complex patterns such as brocade, damask and matelasse.[4][5] The loom is controlled by punched cards with punched holes, each row of which corresponds to one row of the design. Multiple rows of holes are punched on each card and the many cards that compose the design of the textile are strung together in order. It is based on earlier inventions by the Frenchmen Basile Bouchon (1725), Jean Baptiste Falcon (1728) and Jacques Vaucanson (1740)[6] To call it a loom is a misnomer, a Jacquard head could be attached to a power loom or a hand loom, the head controlled which warp thread was raised during shedding. Multiple shuttles could be used to control the colour of the weft during picking.

Circular looms[edit]

A circular loom is used to create a seamless tube of fabric for products such as hosiery, sacks, clothing, fabric hose (such as fire hose) and the like. Circular looms can be small jigs used for hand knitting or large high speed machines for modern garments. A good example of the circular loom's work is the new seamless women's stockings, which no longer require a seam running up the back of the leg.

Dobby looms[edit]

Template:Main A Dobby Loom is a type of floor loom that controls the whole warp threads using a dobby head. Dobby is a corruption of "draw boy" which refers to the weaver's helpers who used to control the warp thread by pulling on draw threads. A dobby loom is an alternative to a treadle loom, where multiple heddles (shafts) were controlled by foot treadles- one for each heddle. The Jacquard loom, which was invented earlier applies the same idea in a different way.



See also[edit]




External links[edit]

If only there were more cevler people like you! Template:Commons category

Template:Weavingar:منسج az:Toxucu dəzgah bn:তাঁত be:Ткацкі станок bcl:Tanhaga bg:Тъкачен стан br:Stern ca:Teler cs:Tkalcovský stav da:Væv (redskab)el:Αργαλειός es:Telar eo:Teksilo eu:Ehungailu fr:Métier à tisser gd:Beart-chlò ko:직기 hi:करघा hr:Tkalački stan id:Alat tenun it:Telaio (tessitura) he:נול ka:საქსოვი დაზგა lt:Audimo staklės mr:हातमाग nl:Weefgetouw ja:織機 no:Vevstol nn:Vevstol pl:Krosno tkackie pt:Tear ro:Război de țesut qu:Awarank'u ru:Ткацкий станок stq:Weeuwerstäl sq:Avlëmendi scn:Tilaru simple:Loom sk:Krosná fi:Kangaspuut sv:Vävstol ta:தறி te:మగ్గం th:กี่ uk:Ткацький верстат

  1. Etymology Online
  2. Websters 1913 p=868
  3. Template:Harvnb
  4. Eric Hobsbawm, "The Age of Revolution", (London 1962; repr. 2008), p.45.
  5. Template:Cite web
  6. C. Razy p.120 (1913)