In Which I Build a Loom

So you may remember me mentioning that I actually bought a second loom. Yep. This is the girl who owned 0 looms this time last year. Now I own two. Is this a problem? Nah!

Besides, for the second one, I truly could not resist. My local guild was trying to get rid of a 45″ Nilus Leclerc. Get rid of? Well, it was in pieces. All the pieces were there, but it had been living disassembled in in somebody’s garage for awhile. But they were selling it for $200. With a bench! You can’t even get just a bench alone for that much! How could I say no? Plus, my first loom was a 36″ Nilus Leclerc, so its not like I wouldn’t have a “living” model to help me put it together… You can see the “before” photos below.

It wasn’t in perfect condition, and a few pieces needed to be replaced (one of the shaft heddle supports, and the brake tension spring, and the aprons were pretty rough). But even though it took me nearly six months, I really enjoyed putting this loom together. Honestly, it was a learning experience about all the interesting bits of a loom, and how it all works.

Now that its all together, this loom is a truly beautiful piece of work. It is old, but still strong; it’s still got plenty of years left in it. My favorite thing is small, but its a whim I’m glad I followed through on. Check out those “after” photos!

As I said, the aprons were pretty rough looking. And I have nothing if not tons of scrap fabric at hand. And I thought, well, why are aprons always plain white? Why not have a patterned apron? And I found this lovely fabric. Its a line art sketch of butterflies and botanical plants. It fits the color and mood of my fiber studio, while really bringing out the lovely grain of the wood of the loom. I feel like this print just “fits” the loom, and gives this old loom a wonderful bit of unique character that I’ve never seen on any loom before.

I absolutely love the effect of a printed apron. I’m thinking about trying to convince other people to maybe try it out. Not much of a business potential, I guess, as people rarely change their aprons. But, well, you never know. Maybe this fad will catch on, and I’ll be able to claim that this loom started it all.

The first project I started on this loom is a simple rag rug. I got some good sturdy cotton warp in a nice green color, and it seemed appropriate. Then I had some scrap fabric lying around that had been tie-dyed in some bright blues and purples and.. more greens. It seemed like meant to be, and a fun easy first project to test the loom’s capabilities.


The rug is going great, and I couldn’t be happier with this second loom. And yet… I see more shafts in my future. There will come a day when I wont be able to resist, and I’ll have to give up one of these beauties, and invest in an 8shaft loom. Four shafts can take you a lot of places, and you can do most anything on them, and certainly use them well and beautifully… but…….