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Community weaving project

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AutumnWeaves's picture
Joined: 08/08/2009

I have been throwing around the idea in my head for a community weaving project. I had a meeting last week with some people who give grants for such things so have put feelers out to see how to go about this.

My plan. Have a tapestry loom (which at the end will become my loom to keep) made by the technical school I went to back in the day. The wood will come from local trees that my brother cuts down, he’s a tree man. The school will make the loom to my specs, I just need to provide the supplies and plans, they do the rest. After that the loom and I will travel to local festivals and fairs with a journal(s) so each person that adds to the project can write their thoughts about it. I will have all the yarns pre-dyed in specific colors to keep harmony and consistency in the piece. At the end of all this, the finished piece will be able to travel to different places as a beauty in community diversity project.

On to the loom. I need plans, not just for a basic loom but one that will be of use to me for the rest of my life. The loom can be big since a large truck will be available to me and I will have two men to help me move it where it needs to be.

I would love an upright Gobelin style loom if possible but am open to suggestions since the fanciest loom I have is a large Ashford Tapestry loom. Where does one find such types of plans? Are there other upright loom styles I should look in to?

I appreciate any help offered. I especially would love to hear about anyone the has tried one of these type of community projects.

Michael White's picture
Joined: 06/26/2009
Hi, I have a number of sets

Hi, I have a number of sets of plans for building looms. I will look to see if I think any will be useful for you. Just remember A"large" loom still has to go though doors. here is a web site with a large loom going to the "fair"

http://www.handweaver.us/southland_jubilee.htm This is a 48 inch, 4h Macomber.


Joined: 05/29/2009
 Looms do not need to "go

 Looms do not need to "go through doors" if they knock down easily - Standard Countermarche or Counterbalance looms, barn frame looms are either bolted or wedged together in such a way that they can be disassembled in less than 20 minutes (even with a warp on) and reassembled in very short order.

Such a loom is also easy to store - the frame comes apart and it leans against a wall taking very little space.

Caroline's picture
Joined: 06/09/2009
This is a lovely idea! I have

This is a lovely idea!

I have just one comment to make. To people who are strangers to weaving, a multi-shaft loom can look scary, even to adults. Too many levers, treadles and shafts, and explanations only seem to make it worse! 

An upright loom seems to be far more user friendly, and far more approachable.  Solid wooden uprights and beams beg to be touched and stroked. 

Its really a matter of perception more than anything else, but I would think that a loom that appears inviting and not too complicated to use will soon find its way into the heart of a community, and people will queue to contribute. You may even make some converts, :-)!!

kbird's picture
Joined: 07/11/2009
Autumm - Take a look at my

Autumm -

Take a look at my 10ft Tapestry loom.  This is a fairly unique style - different from the gobelin type,  However, it is similar to the Shannock style looms that were manufactured here in the Northwest.  Interestingly, there is a 12ft Shannock that is quite heavy duty that seems to be largely unused at the School of Art and Craft here.  One thing you might want to consider is to see if they would loan it to you for your community project.  One of the advantages of the Shannock is that they have precise tension adjustments - which perhaps you don't need, but you would probably want if you want one for permanent use.  There is also a 6ft Shannock that is much easier to accommodate in the living room...

Although wood is nice, I think the functionality of the loom is much more important.  One of the things I thought about was that I wanted to be able to always sit and work in a comfortable position, and the Shannock style looms are great for that.

Here are some pictures of both of these...



Caroline's picture
Joined: 06/09/2009
That is one serious loom,

That is one serious loom, :-)!  Ideal for demos, because you can promise to string up naughty boys, lol!

I'm sorry, my mind has this silly idea of a tapestry made up from the arms and legs of all the nuisance kids we have all ever experienced, with the title "I told you so!" ;-)  You might even turn a profit over the school holidays...... charging for admission??

AutumnWeaves's picture
Joined: 08/08/2009
You guys are great. I was

You guys are great.

I was hoping to make an upright loom, fairly simple but for my own ease of use, I would like to be able to open the sheds either by foot or easy hand lever, that's really all I want.  I don't want it to have too many bells and whistles.  Like another poster said, i don't want to overwhelm people. :)

I am working away here, will post more when I can.  I hope to find some loom plans this week that will work.

SaoriSaltSpring's picture
Joined: 06/08/2009
I have done a lot of

I have done a lot of community banners and Peace Banners on my Saori loom - which folds up and is very portable.  You can see some of these projects on my website - www.saltspringweaving.com/news.htm.  Some of the banners involved up to 150 people, each weaving a portion of the banner with whatever they chose.

I have also just created an Earth Loom and have visions of setting it up for outdoor community weaving projects. 

Let me know if you want any more info.

Happy Weaving,


AutumnWeaves's picture
Joined: 08/08/2009
I have recently been looking

I have recently been looking at those looms!!  I do love them and have decided that it doesn't have to be wood.  If you or anyone knows of a large loom available that would work for this project, PLEASE let me know.  I need to do up my budget for the grant and would like to have a firm hold on a loom before I submit it.

AutumnWeaves's picture
Joined: 08/08/2009
Wow, how beautiful.  I will

Wow, how beautiful.  I will be contacting you soon to get some details.  My project takes on new dimensions every day, there's so much to plan and be done.  I'm figuring three years from start to finish,  finish as in, hanging on display.

Bonnie Inouye's picture
Joined: 06/15/2009
In Spokane, WA during the

In Spokane, WA during the ANWG conference in late May, 2009, there was an amazing loom in the middle of a bookstore. Actually there were two of these. Built of wood and easy to use, unlike any other I have seen. Maybe somebody in this group will know who was responsible. I snapped a couple of photos. There was a basket of cloth strips for weaving.  Bonnie Inouye

AutumnWeaves's picture
Joined: 08/08/2009
Oh my gosh, I totally loved

Oh my gosh, I totally loved checking out the work that everyone did. Thanks so much for sharing.  When I feel like I will never get this done I will go visit your site to remind me that I can. :)