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Topic: Union loom #36  (Read 7299 times)
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« on: September 14, 2010 11:35:41 AM »

Hello weavers! A visitor from the spinning boards here, lol. I know a little about weaving (very basic) but not much about looms. I've got some questions I hope you can help me with.

Ok, so a friend just offered me a Union Loom #36 for free. (I assume it's in decent shape but don't really know yet.) I'm having a hard time finding any information online about it. On to the (numerous) questions...
1. Anyone know anything about this type of loom and how to operate it? And/or how to get my hands on an instruction manual (I'm assuming it isn't coming with one)?
2. Does the "#36" indicate 36 inches? If so, is that 36 inches of weaving width or the entire width of the loom?
3. Are there harnesses involved, heddles, or any of those other words I'm vaguely familiar with? Lol!
4. Does anyone happen to have some pics of one of these looms?
5. Can you point me in the direction of a good book/blog/video that would help me?
6. Am I right in thinking that some looms are better for certain projects than others...such as, one loom might be better for weaving a rug while another might be better for weaving fine fabric for clothing...? If so, is the Union Loom better for a certain type of project?
7. If any of the parts needed to be replaced how hard would it be to find replacements? Are looms sensitive creatures or will they last a long time without too much pampering/fixing? I like a piece of equipment that will last forever as long as you talk nice to it and keep it clean, lol.

I'm kinda having a hard time deciding whether to take this loom or help its owner find another good home for it. On the one hand, a free loom! Who says no to that? On the other hand, I don't really have the space for one and am trying not to take on any other crafts. But I am a spinner so weaving would be something else I could do with my yarn besides knit it. But I just got my first spinning wheel and that's taking up room (minimal, but still). I could go on but you get the picture I'm sure, lol.

Thanks for any info you can provide!

« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2010 05:04:46 PM »

Well, you can get the manual here, which will help.

I taught myself how to weave using the book Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler. I would recommend picking up a copy, or getting it from the library, or something similar before accepting the offer of the loom. I got mine to weave my handspun, then realised that it was insane of me to think that would ever happen. Just the sheer amount of yardage it takes to weave a small bit of fabric is pretty overwhelming!

I'm not familiar with the company itself, except that it has been out of business for decades. Looks like it may have shut down in 1940? The little bit of information from a quick search shows that this particular loom is a rug loom with a 36" weaving width. Yes, it will have harnesses, heddles, and at least most of those other words. All looms of that variety do. Grin

Some types of looms do work a little better for certain projects than others, but only when you get into the really fancy designs and such. Most floor looms (what this one is) have parts that can be changed out that basically turns them into better machines for different designs. My little Schacht has been used for both rugs and finer weaves (50 threads/inch) by just changing out one part and adding more heddles.

As for being sturdy... A friend of mine found an old loom in a barn. It had been sitting there for probably fifty years or more. She took it home, cleaned it up, replaced a couple of rusted parts, put on new heddles, and started using it immediately. They're designed to take a beating. Literally - you beat the weft threads into place. I beat mine hard enough that it will walk across a carpeted floor!

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