Sunday, May 27, 2012

A blast from the past.

And you knew it had to do with weaving, right???

Well, even if you don't weave, these old looms are very cool, just to look at, even if you don't understand them.

They are huge looms.  The original was made in Scotland, and the other two were copied here, from that one.
They have flying shuttles, which for you non-weavers means that you do LESS work for the same result.  And you are FASTER.

They were used to make woolen blankets, 60" wide.
But the owners went out of business several years ago.

Now these three lovely old girls sit alone, waiting for someone to come and weave.

Waiting for someone to wind a warp on this sectional warping mill.
It looks like some kind of torture device.

They are very high, due to the dobby system that sits on top of them, and allows you to set up your pattern, without having to tie up multiple treadles.

It has an automatic cloth advance, and the warp on the back is weighted, you can see the weights hanging off the back.

The weights are attached to a leather strap that is wound around the wheel on either side.

This mechanism off the back of the loom is attached to the dobby system at the top, and the treadle at the bottom.

They are equipped with 4 shafts, but there is room for MORE.

 See the cord across the front, that is the one that you snap to the right or left to dispense the shuttle across from one side to the other.

This is the dobby mechanism.

 There are multiple warp beams with these looms, and they are easily lifted up and out, and exchanged.

 Here is the dobby from the other side.

 And here it is up close.

Seeing someone standing next to the loom, you can see how big it is.

Here is the spool rack.
See the hooks on the 'ceiling' of it???

  The dobby here is attached to the shafts.

The bench is different.....because it only has one treadle, the bench is at an angle.  You treadle with your right foot, and your left foot rests on the board next to the treadle, kind of keeping you on the bench.

Here are the dobbys.

These looms need a weaver, or two, or three.

They need a home, and someone who wants to preserve them for generations to come.
They are so unique.

 I googled the loom-maker, and this is what I found.  Arrol Young

Believe or not, I cannot bring one of these looms home.  Not because DH would kill me.  Nah, he is way over that.
But because I have NO ROOM.
These looms need 12' x 8' x 8' 5" H.

They are not for the faint of heart.
There is also a pretty impressive winder that goes with them, so there is NO pirn in the shuttle when you weave.

The thread actually feeds from the center, and the flat metal piece holds the wound thread in the shuttle.

So if anyone has any ideas about a new home for these pieces of functional history, please let me know.
In the meantime, I will try to figure out if I can cut a hole in the ceiling to make it tall enough.


Anonymous said...

It's really a beautiful piece of equipment and were I a weaver with the space it would end up in my home.... hope someone loves it enough to take it.

Kathy said...

What I find amazing, is not only were these all hand made/machined parts, but made WITHOUT the use of a computer! Some really smart people figured this all out. And they work BETTER and more simple, I'll bet with less problems and better quality finished item, and gave someone a JOB. Unlike today, where machines run by machines do the work. Thank you for sharing these photos! It took the men building the Empire State building less than 1 year to build it, under budget and things fit perfectly....unlike the small bridge over a culvert that closed down a major road here for 2 YEARS! The culvert repair was planned and figured out on a computer, not a slide rule....PROGRESS????? I think not!

Amanda Cutler said...

That is the coolest loom. Ever.

Need A Latte Mom said...

I would be afraid i could never completely figure it out and I do have room....

country life said...

Hi, I purchased a loom at a yard sale for $1.00 last summer. It is small and (looks old). I think the lady called it a 2 harness loom. I have not been able to use it are there any good starter books?

Mary said...

The looms are extraordinary functional machines from the past. They are beautiful They look complicated. I bet if a person really studied them, it could be figured out. Do you have a barn that you could put it in. I hope they don't end up as fire wood. Thank you for sharing your photos. I have never seen looms like that before.

Anonymous said...

Would it fit in your shed where you keep all the loopers until needed? Is their a museum in the area that could include it in their regional history department?

Shuttle, Hook and Needle said...

Those looms are work horses. I have a friend from Scotland that weaves tartans. I'll send her a note to check out your pics.
When I was younger I used to love to visit Churchill Weavers in Berea, Ky.
That was where I fell in love with a fly shuttle. I have one on my AVL. They are wonderful but can be really tough on your wrists!
This would be a major commitment to buy one of these looms.

Cait Throop said...

Oh it would be lovely to set these up and have a big studio with women weaving and selling blankets!! Wish I was younger and had more energy!!!!! Wonderful pictures, Hilary!

Karen said...

what an amazing piece of machinery... and Hilary.. DON'T YOU DARE!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hillary, where are these looms located? I certainly have the room and the desire!

Daryl said...

I was sure you'd end this saying you were the new owner .. what an impressive loom .. great post, I love learning new things!

Heidi Pettitt said...

Oh how lovely! I would take one in a heart beat if I was closer as I do have the space. I wonder how much they break down and if I could figure out how to ship one :)

Dorothy said...

Love at first sight... but apart from the small matter of the atlantic ocean between us, I also have no space and I'd need a winning lottery ticket to set up a weaving workshop :(

However, they are beautiful, I enjoyed the photos!

Nancy said...

Amazing looms. I hope they find a home where they will be used.

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