Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Both Looms Finished

Awaiting the Fireline to be delivered so I can start warping.  I was advised to use fishing line due to the weight of the beads by one of my guildmembers.  Regular nylon thread can stretch under weight.  With almost a quarter million 11/0 Delica beads (over 2 kg.) on the next project with the large loom I can't afford for it to stretch. 

We adapted and enlarged the loom I got at Pennisc from Blue Flag Looms.   

It is now 3' by 2'.

His looms are similar to the looms used by master beader John G. Lotter (1902-1994) of Chicago, who was instrumental in reviving heddle loom beading in the 1950s and was one of the founders of Mascoutin Society of Chicagoland. 

I find using the double warp with a rigid heddle easier than the single warp method. My father-in-law, a master woodworker, and I redesigned my Pennsic loom and also made a large one measuring 5' by 3' for larger pieces.

We made two rigid heddles for the looms.  One 30" (222 reeds) and one 18" (131 reeds).  All the reeds were hand cut, hand sanded, hand drilled and glued into place in a rigid heddle frames we constructed from pine.  Both heddles have handles (not pictured) to ease in advancing the warp.

The large loom is constructed from pine and oak, sanded with ultra fine paper and oiled.  We also added an adjustable warping bar so various sized pieces can be warped in the future. We added removable adjustable legs so it can be worked at any angle.  Once it is warped we will be adding a 'wefting bar'.  It took several sessions over a period of 6 weeks to redesign and complete both looms and heddles. 

Special  thanks goes out to my father-in-law, Kenneth Wolf,  for taking time out of his busy schedule to guide me in re-designing and creating these looms.  His expertise as a woodworker is phenomenal and his patience is greatly appreciated.

Thanks Dad.


  1. What a labor of love! I know you will make beautiful things with the loom! Have fun!
    Love the blog background too!
    Carmen (BaM member)

  2. That is quite the loom. I can't wait to see what you make on it!