Saturday, September 16, 2006

Dorothy Loom

I'll get back to towels in my next post. Here is the Dorothy table loom that I recently refinished. The four-shaft section to the right of the loom has not been refinished and gives you some idea what the whole thing looked like before I started - covered in paint. It now looks nice and weaves nicely, too. This post shows it when it was apart.

I finally figured out the secret of weaving on a table loom -- weave with a long shuttle! I had thought that you should use a small thin shuttle to get through the small sheds of most table looms but I kept picking up threads from the bottom (unraised shafts) when I threw the shuttle. It drove me nuts. Today, the light bulb went off and I tried a huge shuttle - the one in the picture is 14" long - and I just sort of pass it from one hand to the other. Voila! No more mistakenly picked up threads! I'm sure this would work just as well with a stick shuttle but I like the long boat shuttle because it's easier to weave with. Maybe everyone else in the world knows this, but it sure took a while for me to discover it.


georgiana said...

can you recommend instructions to warp my new old dorothy loom? i'd really appreciate it.



Larry said...

Hi Georgiana,

Well, Deborah Chandler's book, "Learning to Weave" has a good chapter about warping a loom. It includes good photos, too. Many libraries have a copy if you don't want to buy it.

Also, for no cost, the Interweave Press site has instructions. If you're new to weaving I'd suggest trying the "Front to Back" method - you can find pretty good directions here:

Specifically, look at this file:

I'm not sure where you are in Arkansas but it would help to find a local weaver who could show you how they warp their loom - the process is basically the same for any loom.

Good luck,