Quick story - I just acquired a 1975 Mother Liisa countermarch loom (with blue hardware). Because of a recent move the people selling had a photo of the loom all together without the harnesses and all the smaller pieces (lamms, treadles, heddles, jacks) were all wrapped up in a couple nice neat bundles. I could see all of the frame work which was in excellent condition. It was being sold as a 16-harness and she assured me all 16 harnesses were there.

Imagine my surprise when I only found 4 harnesses! Today when I questioned the woman that sold it she admitted she really didn't know what a harness was (so counted each piece of the harness set up). She had showed me samples of weavings when I went to see the loom, but I found out later they were from her grandmother (a professional weaver in Finland). This loom was a gift to her in 1975, she used it once and found out she didn't like to weave.

Now I need to find a way to add more harnesses or sell it. Even as a 4-harness I got a good deal. I have been told that this particular model would require custom-made parts - which is ok because my husband can easily make all the wooden parts......but I've also been told that this model cannot be upgraded to more than 4 harnesses. It looks like there is plenty of room between the front and back of the castle to hold enough jacks for a total of 12 harnesses. The only other places I can see being restrictive is the space alloted for the rod holding the treadles and the rods for the lamms (which looks like they might hold up to 8 harness set-ups). Does anyone know what my limitations would be? I really want to keep this and use it but I really want more harnesses (my other loom is 8 and I use all of them quite often).

Thanks so much, Jaci


Dawn McCarthy

Does your loom look like this? does it have the words Toika or Toiljana or something to that effect on the front?  Sounds like you have a Toika Liisa and more than likely you can get parts as the company still exists.  The parts will fit but may be ever so slightly different but not enough to prevent expansion.  You can probably fit 12 shafts and treadles at least.


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A couple friends and I recently acquired an older 72" Liisa loom and we're hoping to find some pictures of other assembled looms while we wait for a response regarding a manual.

Thanks so much !


Jaci Siehl

My loom is definitely a Liisa and is one of the original versions. I've been told by some experts that although the company is still in business, that there have been enough changes in the design that the parts will probably have to be custom made. My question is does anyone know what determines how many harnesses will fit - is it the width in the castle, the apcing for the tredles, or the lamms, or all three?

I guess my question should be how wide is the space in each area for 8 or 12 harnesses.

Sara von Tresckow

Shaft sticks and lams are easy to have made to the specs of your loom.

When adding shafts or treadles is is normal to need longer metal rod of the size now on your loom. Again, finding steel rod to cut to size is not a problem.

10-12 shafts would easily fit your loom.

Nowadays when computer assisted dobbies are on the market, it is not really desirable to have more than that to treadle manually before switching to a dobby.

You can also consider putting a Toika dobby box on your loom - installation is easy - its just a question of paying for it.

Dawn McCarthy

I have added newer Toika lams/shafts & treadles to my older Liisa - the parts fit, the shaft bars are a tad longer, as are the treadles and the holes in the lams are ever so slightly aligned differently but not enough to be a problem.  I have woven successfully with these parts and would consider adding more in the future if needed.  So therefore the parts can work just fine (my Toika is quite old).  If you want to add the worm gear then you would have to purchase a  whole new beam as the existing one is not compatible.  However, if your husband or yourself is handy you can make your own using the existing as a guide.  The space that can accomodate the upper lams is 23.5 cm wide and I can accomodate 12 upper lams/lower lams and treadles.  Hope this helps.  Nice looms!  BTW Sue Butler (on Weavo) has a 16 shaft Toika (i think) she may be able to answer questions regarding more than 12 shafts.  


I too have a 1975 Toika Liisa.  When I bought it there were 8 shafts, 10 treadles and something like to 20+ tie up system installed by the engineer husband of the previous owner.  A few days later I received another 'bundle of sticks' which turned out to be another 8 jacks and 8 shaft bars.  I think it originally had 12 shafts but 4 were removed when the tie up system was installed to make things simpler.  There's certainly room for another 4 pairs of jacks at the top

I also have a copy of the original instruction booklet, the one with the slip of a girl building her loom on the rocky sea shore.  I just had a look and it refers to 4, 6 and 8 shafts but doesn't mention a maximum.  Happy to email it if that would help

Jaci Siehl

Thanks.  I did also receive the manual with my loom.  Last night I contacted Toika, Webs (Toika US distributor), and Gilmarka (for parts if Toika doesn't have any on hand).  I received a very nice and quick reply from Toika.  They confirmed that they changed the plans in 1983 and current parts probably won't fit.  But I sent all three people all of my critical dimensions and they will let me know what is available and the cost to add on 4 more.  If too much, my hubby can make the parts, they just might not look quite the same.......I'll post an update when we get resolved, just in case someone down the line also needs this info.  Can't wait!



Happy to know that your issue has been resolved. All the best and go for it.