I’ve always taken issue when the word “loom” is used in a context other than weaving. For instance: “A harsh winter looms ahead.” Or “Factory workers’ strike looms.” It always seems that it’s used in a negative way when weaving isn’t involved. Deborah Chandler in Learning To Weave defines “loom” this way:
…a device to hold a set of yarns taut
so that it is easy to weave other yarns over
and under them. (p. 14)
You Transylvanians are probably getting ready to do the time warp again. And though I’ve waited in an endless line in a raincoat to see “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and thrown toast at the movie screen, this is a slightly different time warp. In fact it really doesn’t involve time transference except that it does take a bit of time to put a warp on a loom.
Deborah Chandler defines “warp” as this: the yarn attached to the loom such as the warp yarns of cotton and ribbon tied to the front of a floor loom pictured above. The warp is always kept under tension during the weaving process. The “weft”, Chandler continues is the cross threads that are woven over and under the warp threads. “Warp” and “weft” are the essential ingredients of a handwoven product.
Not all looms need to be floor looms like the one pictured. Here are some simple wood and cardboard looms. All of them are capable of holding a tight warp.
The loom on the left is a small sample loom for needle weaving. The loom on the right is a potholder loom just like the plastic or metal ones we all seemed to have as children.
Above are cardboard looms cut from mat board. They are notched at either end and then threaded with a warp of Peaches and Cream cotton yarn. The two purses are examples of products that can be woven on a cardboard loom.
Here is a peg loom made by Harrisville Designs. The wooden needle is used to weave in the weft, in this case fabric or “rag” strips. The rag purse with braided handle is an example of what can be woven on the peg loom.
Now here is my gripe, other than the one when “loom” is used the wrong way. If you have ever typed “handwoven” in the search box of an online retail site such as Etsy, you will find many items, most of them lovely. However, not all have a warp and a weft which is the hallmark of a truly handwoven item. Some are knitted, some are crocheted, some are braided. Keep in mind that these items are made with sticks, sometimes one, sometimes two. They are not created on a loom, and they do not have a warp and a weft. Let me just say, “Buyer beware”. When you want to purchase a handwoven item, be sure it has a warp and a weft. This means that it was woven on a loom – any kind of loom, from simple to complex. Weaving is a unique process – it is not knitting, crocheting, quilting, or embroidery although there are people who mistakenly believe so.
As for me, I am lucky to have a loom (several of them in fact) of my own. And mine comes with a view.
Filed under: loom, Weaving, yarn | Tagged: beginning weaving, cardboard loom, Deborah Chandler, Etsy, frame loom, handweaving, handwoven purse, Harrisville, loom, Peaches and cream, peg loom, warp, Weaving, weaving with rags, weft |