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This Speedweve Darning Loom, came from a Bootfair years ago. It was made by E. & A. CHESSTOK, Ltd., of Manchester, There are plenty out there to buy online, and modern versions which are pretty much the same. This loom came complete with instructions and 2 fitments, one for wool and one for silk and linen. The only things missing were the elastic bands which are no problem to replace.

Visible mending wasn’t a thing back then, so it sat forgotten on a shelf with other bits and bobs – until now.

Wool

I decided to practicee on an old dog blanket – full of suitable holes.

It’s very simple to use. There’s a wooden disc that you place under the area use need to darn, fix in place with an elastic band. Then you fit the gadget into place with another elastic band. The hooks at the top act as anchors for the warp threads so you only have to stitch them in at the bottom.

The patented Speedweve darning loom magic happens when you start to weave the weft threads across. A slider thingy at the top switches the angle of the hooks, creating a ‘shed’ – i.e a gap between the pairs of warp threads into which you weave your weft thread with a stitch into the fabric at each end. Then just move the slider back and the other set of warp threads move to the front and you weave back.

It makes quick work of darning a patch without the need for fiddly weaving in and out of the threads manually. When you get to the end of the weaving you just remove the fitting and stitch the top loops of the warp threads onto the fabric.

Not too bad for a first effort. Just a little ragged around the edges.

Cotton

This came with an extra fitting with a finer gauge so a found an old moth chewed shirt.

This fitment has 14 hooks rather than 10 for a finer weave. Crochet cotton probably wasn’t the best choice of thread to use for the darn, an embroidery floss would have meshed together better.

Verdict

Overall it’s super fun to use. The size of the darn is dictated by the size of the wooden disc and the dimensions of the loom. But if you want a darn around 4-5cm wide and 5cm high it’s the perfect tool. Get yourself a Speedweve Darning Loom – or it’s modern equivalent, you won’t look back.