Backstrap loom

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QuakerBear
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Backstrap loom

Post: #66459 QuakerBear
Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:30 am

Does anyone have any plans or diagrams of how to make a backstrap loom?
QuakerBear

Eigon
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Post: #66499 Eigon
Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:42 pm

I use a model backstrap loom that I made myself for historical re-enactment, and if I can do it, anyone can!

The one essential part that you need is a rigid heddle. This is the bar through which all the warp threads pass - one through a hole, the next through a gap in the slats, next through a hole, and so on right across. This means that, when you pull the rigid heddle up, or push it down, the alternate threads will separate and you can push your shuttle right through the middle to make one row of weaving (pull up, push shuttle through, push down, put shuttle through and so on)
The warp threads are tied to a bar at each end. Mine are the remains of an embroidery frame, but really any sturdy stick will do.
Tie a piece of string or braid or anything sturdy to the bar furthest from you, and loop it round a post in the ground, or anything that isn't going to move when you pull against it.
The rigid heddle is in the middle, suspended on the warp threads, and the bar nearest you has another length of string etc tied to it which goes round your waist as you sit in it. You pull back to get the tension, and you're ready to start.
If you don't have a rigid heddle, then you have to move your shuttle in and out of every single thread, and it takes forever!
It might help to have a look at pictures of Navaho weavers, who still use the same sort of backstrap loom today, to give an idea of what the setup looks like.

When I'm demonstrating, I get about 7 kids round me to work the loom, but it is quite easy to do it on my own. I can't make anything of high quality, but it is recognisable as cloth!
"The best way to get real enjoyment out of the garden isto put on a wide straw hat, hold a little trowel in one hand and a cool drink in the other, and tell the man where to dig."
Charles Barr

QuakerBear
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:24 pm
Location: Surrey

Post: #67247 QuakerBear
Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:30 am

Thanks Eigon, I shall give it a go :king:
QuakerBear


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