New father!

I am the proud father of a new to me 16 shaft production AVL Loom!  I just got it this weekend and it is currently just a pile of parts in my weaving room. It is an old model.  I was told it is part of the first production run because it does not have a serial number.  My loom looks like the picture below except that is has two plain beams instead of the big sectional beam shown.  It is 48" weaving width.

I am trying to decide where to put it!  I am contemplating either getting rid of the dining room table or the living room couch .  Decisions, decisions!

Can anyone tell me if I can put one side up against a wall?  This will have a big impact on where I can put it.  I am hoping I can put the left side by a wall.





Posted on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 02:44

Erik, is your loom a mechanical dobby loom like the one in the photo?  Dobby bars and pegs are great for lots of structures, once you learn how to use and manipulate them. It is so much more comfortable to move pegs than it is to redo the tie-up on a traditional floor loom, especially one with 16 shafts.

You need to have access to the side of the loom with the dobby head, whether it is a compu-dobby or a mechanical dobby. The other side of the loom could go next to a wall, assuming you do not have a flyshuttle. You need to be able to walk to the back of the loom, naturally, for warping and for fixing broken threads, etc, but you could walk past the dobby side.

Where do you live? I have two AVL looms in my cabin near Crested Butte, one from 1987 (that ad looks familiar) and the other was bought in 1994.

Bonnie Inouye, author of Exploring Multishaft Design

Posted on Thu, 07/15/2010 - 02:06

Hi Bonnie,

Yes, I have the mechanical dobby, with 152 bars and over 800 pegs!  I don't know the exact age but this is one of the first of the Production looms.  It is old enough that it does not have a serial number and it is labeled Ahrens & Violette Looms instead of just AVL.  I do not have a fly shuttle.

The ad is a stock picture of what my loom will look like after assembly.  Mine is maple and appears to be in pretty good shape except for the dobby which needs new cords.  The lady I got it from is a master weaver down in Manitou Springs.  She was the original owner and took good care of it.

I live in the south end of Denver.  Despite my best pruning efforts my loom collection keeps growing.  I have my Clement set up for a weft faced blanket project, but my beautiful cherry Loomcraft is languishing in pieces in the closet.  The living room holds a Nadeau being rehabbed and I have a little Dorothy that I will use for workshops if I ever find the time. 

Does your book cover design for 16 shaft looms?  Our guild library probably has it available.  If not I am on the acquisitions committee.  I am excited about the design possibilities of both 16 shafts and the dobby and am researching weave structures and design like I am a new weaver again. 



Posted on Thu, 07/15/2010 - 22:03

hi Erik,

I expect that my book is in your guild library. I know it is in the Boulder guild library as I was a member of HGB for many years. I wove all of the samples shown in the book, and my only looms at the time had 16 shafts. So nearly all the examples are for 16 shafts. There are no recipes in this book. It is designed to be a workshop that you take at your own loom. It has been used as a study guide for a year or two for a bunch of weaving study groups (for 8 or more shafts) and for some college courses as a textbook. There are step by step exercises to follow to create new drafts exploring certain aspects or structures. I give an example next to each step and my examples are for 16 shafts. The last 2 chapters (10 in all) are more general and one of them covers using 8, 12, 24, and other numbers, plus converting a draft that you might have made for one loom but need to use a different number of shafts the next time around.

It is possible to do all the exercises in my book with 8 shafts but I think it is harder to do them on 8 than with 12 or more shafts. With 16, it is easy to follow all the steps but might be tempting to take my examples and just use them. Believe me, I have seen a lot of scarves, towels, etc woven from the drafts that are shown as examples in my book!  I did not intend for this to happen but I guess a lot of people do not read the text in an article or in a book- they just look at the pictures.

There is a study group of your guild for weavers using 8 and more shafts. Most of those people have my book- many of them took one or both of the workshops that I taught in Denver this past April. I will see some of them at Complex Weavers next week, which should be great.

Hope this helps.

There are specific tips in my book for people with bars and pegs. I made a drawing of my AVL bars and pegs and used it to indicate paragraphs of special interest for mechanical dobby looms.

Erik, do you have weaving software? It helps a lot!  FiberworksPCW lets you print a liftplan (pegplan) with the same spacing as the AVL bars and pegs.


Posted on Fri, 07/16/2010 - 14:45

Hi Bonnie,

I do not have weaving software yet.  I am used to designing structures and tie ups on paper for my 8 shaft loom.  What color of Fiberworks PCW should I get?  Do I need Silver Plus to get the lift plan capability?

Have you been approached regarding doing another workshop in the 2011 season?  I am on the workshop committee but someone else may have contacted you already.