A floor loom has been on the wish list for ages. So what do you do when a friend asks you if you want one? Say YES of course!
It is a vintage Glimakra Viking Jack Loom. Glimakra is a Swedish company still making loom, although they don’t seem to make this model any more. It had been dismantled and in storage for over 30 years, and was a good few years older than that.
First off, it required a good clean and a bit of woodworm treatment to the frame.
The reed needed a good de-rusting and the heddles had a run through the washing machine.
Then came assembly. The previous owner had marked the sections with lettered tape so finding which piece fitted onto which piece wasn’t too bad after a couple of false starts. Then with a bit of strategic oiling to the metal parts we were ready to go.
She’s a beast. Standing solid and proud in the workshop. There are 4 shafts and 6 treadles and 90cm of weaving width with a 13 dent reed. This opens up a whole new world of weaving possibilities compared to the little Weavemaster table loom.
For several reasons. The weaving is quite simple and quick for a first project and a way to get acquainted with the loom. The warp threads can be quite widely spaced, making dressing the loom for the first time more straightforward, in theory anyway. Plus, rag rugs need a robust loom to hold up to the beating required, the little table loom would quickly come apart so hadn’t been possible before now. And there was a bag of accumulated ‘rags’ just waiting to be used.
Getting to grips with warping, threading the heddles. Getting into the middle of the loom to thread the heddles and reed was a bit of a wrestling match.
And away we go.
Very satisfying. It’s a hefty loom. You can give the beater a good whack to scrunch down up the rag weft, without fear of anything coming apart.
The little rugs vary, depending on the fabric used in the making of each one, and also in the colour and spacing of the cotton weft.
It creates some interesting textures and play between different colours. And it is FUN.
The first couple of batches of rugs are available to buy on the Website.
There will definitely be more rag rugs in the future, when the rag bag has been replenished.
But it won’t stop there. This Floor loom has so much more to offer, and there are plans for more complex weaving and handspun weaving projects in the future. Watch this space.