Burnham, Walling, & Binder Looms

In search of information about three mid-20th century, California made looms: Burnham, Walling, and Binder. These looms are in a weaving museum collection in Vista, CA, and we would like to know more about the loom makers, their various designs, and any stories or bits of information that helps document when, where, and why they made looms. If anyone owns one of these looms and can share your experiences (and photos?) of your loom I would love to hear from you.


Posted on Fri, 12/07/2012 - 20:36

Hmm how interesting. I don't believe I've heard of them before. I hope someone else can provide more information.
In the mean time, thanks for posting this interesting topic.

Posted on Sat, 12/08/2012 - 00:11

Did you check with Janet Meany in Duluth, MN? (She is the keeper of old loom manuals.) She has a website.

I would track down Sandra Swarbrick and see if she can help you. She worked with Mary Snyder while in California many years ago, so she may be more familair with looms from the west coast. I believe she was president of HGA at some point, so may have lots of contacts in the weaving world.

Also, this fall (2012) I saw a loom made in Hollywood, CA at the Saunderstown Weaving School in Rhode Island. Owner Norma Smayda might be able to help you. (I believe she has a Walling Loom, see photo below.)

FYI, attending the Weaving History Conference in Clayton, NY has really opened a new world to me over the last two years! Glad I could help with your inquiry as a direct result of that experience. You might also try contacting The Handweaving Museum and see if they have any documentation in their library. (The museum is housed at the Thousands Islands Arts Center, where the conference takes place the 2nd or 3rd week in May.) 

Posted on Tue, 08/20/2019 - 07:52

I had a 45" 4 harness Binder loom that I sold many years ago.  When I was weaving a lot in the 1970s and '80s, Binder looms were highly regarded for their sturdiness and craftsmanship.  I still have a 90" fly shuttle Binder loom, though I no longer use it.  Walling looms were also highly regarded.  I knew Marie Walling whose husband had made the looms.  I never saw or owned one, unfortunately.


Posted on Sat, 12/08/2012 - 00:36

Depending on the age of the looms, you might want to look in very old issues of:

Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot

Handweaver and Craftsman

Shuttle Craft Guild publications

and see if these looms are advertised. These old ads can yield a surprising amount of information.

Posted on Tue, 03/11/2014 - 19:41

Hi All!

I recently purchased an Oregon Trail loom and am really excited to get it set up.  It's been a very long time since I was a weaver, and I don't trust myself to set this up properly.  I have emailed Janet Meany to see if she has an instruction booklet and am also sending the request out in this forum.  I'd love to track down a manual.  Any help will be most appreciated!!

Posted on Wed, 04/02/2014 - 03:51

Hi, please let me know if you find a manual for your Oregon Trail loom. I just bought a Walling loom and would love more information on it. The Walling had been made for the owner's mother in 1966. She was a weaver and was friends with Marie and Bill Walling.

Posted on Wed, 04/02/2014 - 15:42

It's great that you are posting here. You are leaving bread crumbs for weavers who own these looms to share knowledge. I will keep my ear to the ground at the Weaving History Conference in May for anyone else who might have one of these looms and can share info.

Posted on Mon, 04/21/2014 - 19:51


I bought a Walling loom in 1969 and want to sell it (have just taken it out of storage).  I have a two-sided page from Bill Walling with instructions for assembly and disassembly.  That's all he gave me! Unless he made one later, there wasn't a booklet of instructions.   I paid him $1200 for the beautiful loom and am selling it for $900.  I am in Santa Cruz, CA.  phone 831-464-8698.

Posted on Tue, 08/11/2015 - 22:34

I also have a Walling loom, made in N. Hollywood.  Would love to get a manual for it or other paperwork; mine was bought from a local weaving guild and was donated.  It is a heavy duty loom and I am mostly happy with it.  Are any other Walling owners having trouble keeping the tension tight on the outside edges?  thanks!

Posted on Wed, 08/12/2015 - 14:57

would be the one to ask about her Walling Loom and tension issues.

If you haven't been weaving long, tension issues at the selveges could be due to the warping process: winding on without consistent tension, and problems when packing the warp, not necessarily the loom.

Another place to obtain old manuals is Janet Meany.

Good luck!

Posted on Sat, 10/31/2015 - 01:27

My uncle's first loom was a 4H Burnham, a large, sturdy jack floor loom, purchased in So CA. He made a couple of cool changes to it, nothing structural. We think it was made in the 1940's. When he gave it to me in the 1980's, he mentioned Burnhams were used for occupational therapy. I made a few rag rugs and a set of rag place mats, moved it to AK and passed it on.

Posted on Mon, 11/02/2015 - 23:54

I recently acquired an 8-shaft 10-treadle Binder loom that was made in Pasadena in 1948 and sold to the original owner for $125.  She kept the loom until 1970, and sold it to a family friend.  The friend moved the loom from California to Massachusetts in the mid 70's.  She took it apart to move it and never fully re-assembled it.  I purchased the loom from the second owner this past July (2015), cleaned it up and re-assembled it.

I would upload a picture, but I can't seem to do it without the image being sideways.

Posted on Wed, 11/04/2020 - 18:00

<p>Hello,</p><p>I was pretty darn excited to find this thread after seeing a photo of the Burnham Fly Shuttle in a google search. I have an 8 harness 45&quot; Burnham loom I purchased in Southern California a few years ago. I have spent a lot of time in Facebook groups trying to get this loom identified and it wasn&#39;t until I searched for fly shuttle that it came up. My loom does not have a label. I know this thread is pretty old but if anyone here has a photo of the label or any documentation that came with the loom I would be DELIGHTED to see it!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>My photos aren&#39;t posting... they appear and are uploaded bu do not show up :-(<img alt="" height="4032" src="/sites/default/files/IMG_8129.JPG" width="3024" /><img alt="" class="image-medium" height="220" src="/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/IMG_8129.JPG?itok=FtsLnntj" width="165" /><img alt="" height="1280" src="/sites/default/files/KJYE5463.JPG" width="720" /><img alt="" class="image-medium" height="220" src="/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/KJYE5463.JPG?itok=-kbQlO9V" width="124" /><img alt="" class="image-medium" height="220" src="/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/IMG_8129.JPG?itok=FtsLnntj" width="165" /></p>

Posted on Fri, 03/24/2017 - 23:48

I haven't been weaving much, but I am trying to get back in it. Does anyone know anything about this loom...The Burnhams, Baldwin Park, CA (this is the label on it) - 4 shaft table loom. I have found a little information on some larger Burnhams looms, but not this size. It's a nice sturdy loom and I would like to know more about it. Thanks.

Posted on Sat, 03/25/2017 - 19:20

Mr. Burnham and Mr. Binder were brothers-in-law.  The Burnhams had a weaving studio that wove long lengths of yardage in textured yarns for drapery.  One of the older members (since passed on) of our weaver's guild started weaving at the Burnham studio.  She said that her first warp was 100 yards long!  I acturally got to meet Mr. Binder.  In 1975 I bought my first loom (A Leclerc) from him.  He must have been in his 80s, yet he helped load it into my truck.  I also have been lucky enought to have owned two Binder looms and two Burnhams.  I just sold my last Burnham. 

Posted on Sun, 03/26/2017 - 18:50

A year ago I purchased a Oregon Trail floor jack loom, about a 48".  Not real sure how they are measured.  There was a sign on it that said "Weak Lams".  This is a true statement, so after taking a beginning weaving class at Eugene Textile Center in Eugene, Oregon, I tackled the looms and came up with what I hope works.  I would post a few pics of before and during the upgrade ......but i don't know how.... any help would be appreciated.  tks

Never mind, found the video.  duh

Posted on Sun, 03/26/2017 - 23:06

Drilling out the old rivets and removing the aluminum Lams (I believe thats what they are called) and correct me if I am wrong.Drilling out the old rivets and removing the aluminum lams

Posted on Tue, 03/28/2017 - 13:48

The lamms are usually wooden and sit below the parts you have in your photo. The treadle cords attach from the lamms. The metal parts you show are the ones that lift the shafts, so they would be called jacks.

Posted on Tue, 04/04/2017 - 21:18

I guess I didn't explain myself very well.  The lamms on the Oregon Trail Loom were aluminum and bent to easily.  I replaced them with some I milled out of maple.  The picture I posted shows one of the old lamms laying off to the side.  I had just taken it off.  I will post a picture of the completed ones after installation and ready for use.  Thanks for the info Joanne.