My drawloom!

I have my home built drawloom up and running!   Here are some pictures of the loom and the weaving.   Since it was my first warp, I used a strong 5/2 cotton rather than linen, but linen is my eventual goal.   I also put on a short (for a drawloom) warp of 7 yards.   For this warp I'm just going to play with it and try out things.   So far I've only tried the shaft draw system since I only added the single unit draw system over the weekend.   I need to design a pattern and then try it.

My plan is to keep this set up as a draw loom and tie new warps onto the old warps to avoid the whole setup piece of the work, which is considerable.    I also want to add a lashes system, and I want them all to work at the same time.   I haven't figured out how that third part (the lashes) will coexist with the rest yet, but I will.

The drawloom was added to my Varpapuu.   I built everything, including the 8 harness damask pulleys and the lingos.

Along the way I discovered a lot of resources for doing this inexpensively, but I haven't yet added up the total cost.   I do know the cost if purchased would be around $3000.



Posted on Wed, 08/22/2012 - 13:34

Thank you all for your comments.    I forgot to mention, I tied my raddle on to the top beam of the back extension and that creates a warping trapeze. I am keeping the lease sticks in place for the eventual tie-on of a new warp, but will probably have to make another set of them when I do that - so I have a set on the old and on the new warp.

I was also able to build a brake handle extension with some metal milling help from my DH.   That turns out to be very useful when winding on.


Posted on Mon, 08/27/2012 - 07:20

Sally, this looks great. I don't know the mechanics of what your doing, yet. But, this is also one of my future ambitions for my loom as well. That day is quite some time down the road though.  Great idea for use of your raddle to. ;)

Posted on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 16:05

Nice work! Thanks for posting the pics of the loom setup, too.

Posted on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 17:03

You are probably better off just using single draw and shaft combo.  The lashes won't really be of any time saving or benefit if you already have this set up.  Most shaft draw looms combine with the single unit. With the pulley cords in front you won't be able to move the lashes back & forth on the drawcord warp.  I have seen some looms with the lashes and a few shafts but the shaft set up is to the side of the loom.  



Posted on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 17:12

Too late, I've already set up the pattern saving lashes (over the weekend) but haven't posted pics yet.  I did a small weaving with the single unit draw, and it was tedious and it was so easy to forget a single draw here or there.   So I think the pattern saving lashes will be great for the second weaving of a given pattern. Part of the work is coming up with a pattern that I'd like to weave multiple times.

However, because of having the shaft draw and the single unit draw on the loom WITH the pattern saving lashes, I have a little less room for the pattern saving lashes.   They all have to stay overhead, but that's not really a problem.   I'm even thinking I can probably save one long and one short pattern at the same time.   I'll use different color lashes to keep them separate.

Posted on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 17:20

OOoh - can't wait to see!  Please post pics - I am curious!  I just got done with my damask sample - it worked out well.  The only thing is - the crowding of storing lashes, I have about 100 rows and that is just one pattern.  There is no way I can afford the height of the shaft draw, my basement ceiling is barely 6 feet high!


Posted on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 19:34

Dawn - I just measured, and my ceilings are just under 8.5 feet, but the highest part of the loom is 7 feet.  

I'm in the process of winding a warp for my Macomber just now, but I'll get to the pictures a bit later in the week.

You might be able to fit in the shaft draw if you do a home made system.  I had the room so I did it the "right" way, with one side of the shaft draw piece higher than the other side.   The reason is so that the chords don't rub on each other, but really, I don't think that is an issue.  Draw loom weaving is so slow, and you only do one pull for every 4 or 8 picks, I can't really imagine that the chords would seriously abrade each other.  But, I'm using nylon drapery chord, and it's very strong and a little slippery.

And BTW, not all of the shaft draw systems are higher on one side.   One of the systems I saw at Vavstuga was level at the top.


Posted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 11:02

My issue is the Glimakra is quite tall to begin with - the current addition adds more than 6 inches in height so the upper jacks can clear the drawcords.  I literally have 3/4 inch clearance as of now! Now, if DH let me move the whole shebang upstairs - problem solved.  I think that if I add the shaft system I would also need to further extend the depth.  Looking forward to the photos Sally.


Posted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 16:23

The issue with having all three types of draw looms set up at once is that I had to come up with some alternative / non-traditional methods.   It's fairly straight forward to have the shaft draw and single unit draw in one loom.   Adding the pattern lashes was an other thing altogether!

The single unit draw sits sort of under and in back of the shaft draw.  But to do the pattern lashes, I had to access the single unit draw chords through the pattern lashes.   This isn't a problem, however, because I'm using very slippery, stong and fine nylon chord.  It's chord that I found wholesale at a drapery suppy place.

So, here is a picture of the overhead lashes beam that I added:

Posted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 16:47

This is a picture of the saved pattern rows.  Not that I have the lashes grouped with a piece of cardboard rather thing string.   This helps in a couple of ways, one of which is to make them not hang dows so far and brush my head when I'm walking around.   Keep reading for the other advantage.

Note the wooden bar that holds the saved rows back.

Posted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 16:28

This is the pattern I'm saving.   I have it charted out out a big piece of paper and mount it on a piece of metal sheet, holding it down with strips of magnet.  This whole thing is on a music stand.

Posted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 16:30

Here is a picture that shows all three types coexisting.   The picture is a little busy and hard to see. . .  There is a reed at the top, keeping order.   I didn't have exactly the right reed, so threaded some dents with both a black and white thread.

Posted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 16:34

If you look closely, you can see the process I use.   I first use the single unit draw lashes to pull the pattern.   That way I can carefull check it before I save it.  Note the pulls onto the little wooden pegs at the bottom.   Once the pattern is right, I transfer it, block by block, to the upper part - grabing the correct lash with a loop of string and a little spring hook.

Posted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 16:42

Here is a side view that is easier to see.  You can see how it looks with the pattern lashes pulled.   I took a page from an English draw loom picture, and use a wooden dowel, threaded through those loops, and hooked at each side with a strong chord to the open hooks.   This also explains why I'm using cardboard to group the lashes for a single pattern block row.   I can easily use the cardboard to create a platform to slide the dowel into when I'm doing the next weaving of this pattern.   If I used just thread, it would be more work to make sure I've captured the loops with the dowel.

Note that with all three types of draw loom set up at once, I necessarily have to do my pulls from the front of the whole setup.  Also, note the metal bar at the top, in front of the reed.   This whole setup means that my chord loops can all be the same size, and that means that I can make a little jig to make them with.


Posted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 16:45

This is a slow process, but the second weaving will be much faster since th pattern will be saved.   Here is the pattern so far.   Note the little spring hooks that I'm using.   I found a place where I was able to get 1000 of them for about $50.   They slide along nicely and are easy to get on and off.   Paper clips would work also.   You are looking at the back of the weaving.

Posted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 17:06

Sally - you are an engineering demon!  Nice job - Thanks for showing the spring clips!  I have a stash that I used on another loom, the paper clips work well but somtimes "catch" on the other drawcord ties!  I am halfway through weaving the runner  (approx 120 rows of pattern per repeat).  The ovehead draw system is working very well for me so unless I can relocate to a higher ceiling - it will stay as is.  This was mid set up - just enough room for the upper jacks to move and the beater support bar to hang - literally 3/4 of an inch when the upper jacks rise!  


Posted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 18:00

Thank you!

Yes, I thought the paper clips might catch.   The spring clips I bought are the smallest ones I could find, so I don't put more than about 4 blocks on one chord and clip.   But, I do have 1000 of them so that's not a problem!

My pattern is about 117 rows long.   It will be interesting to see how that is when I have them all saved.  At some poing they will all have to be at the front of the loom, and that will be the real test of whether this will work.   As you know, in the normal setup you can push the lashes toward the back of the loom to get them out of the way.   I can't do that.   They will always be overhead and in front of the shaft draw unit.   So, we'll see.

BTW, do I see a dropped ceiling in your picture?   If so, you get get more space by removing it, or the part over your loom anyway. . . . .


Posted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 18:15

Asbestos, old and leaky pipes and squirrel stashes of nuts - 2 spider bites this season - so no - tiles staying up!  When kid # 1 leaves for college I might take over some primo real estate!  She could always sleep on the loom bench.  Keep up the nice work!  


Posted on Sat, 07/13/2013 - 19:22

i'm late to this party,  but i must say 'holy cow, batman'.   i'm totally impressed with what you've done.  i am filing away the information in the back of my brain.   i'd love to do something like this (when i have time... when i have room...  when i have the

thank you for sharing all the pictures.  :-)

Posted on Sun, 07/14/2013 - 09:38

"I think we need a bigger boat." :) As space is always a constraint for looms of width and height. However, it's amazing what patterns and fabric that can be produced with a simple machine of mostly cords and wood. :)

What have you been working on with this loom lately Sally?

Sally, I was wondering about wear on your draw cords. It appears they are rubbing on the frame, or are they run through small pullies (wood, plastic) ?

Posted on Mon, 07/15/2013 - 04:12

Lately, I have been working on a different loom, which I will tell you about in a few weeks.  I'm so behind on various things!

As for the draw chords - are you looking at the shaft draw chords?   I pretty much did the same thing as Glimakra does - I drilled a hole and then drilled again on both sides with a countersink bit.  The chord I'm using is really strong, and I have lots of it, so I'm not worried about them rubbing, but if they do eventually, I'll just replace them.


Posted on Fri, 10/02/2015 - 20:35

...I'm thrilled to see it. I searched on 'drawloom' and this was the first entry I found. I've been thinking of adding a drawloom extension to my Cranbrook countermarche...and getting to see how someone made her own drawloom is a huge inspiration to me! Thank you!

Posted on Fri, 10/02/2015 - 22:48

I highly recommend Becky's DVD.   It gives you some details like how much higher the back beam needs to be than the breast beam, etc.   It would have been difficult to build this drawloom without that DVD.



Posted on Sun, 10/04/2015 - 08:52

Also, the textbook they use in accompaniment to that video can be helpful even if it's Swedish. As well as Sara von Tresckow's great book "When a Single Harnass Simply Isn't Enough" published in 2014. :)

Posted on Tue, 08/25/2020 - 20:41

<p>Hi, I&#39;m new to drawloom and would like to learn about pattern saving lashes. Unfortunately I cannot see any of the pics. Is there a good place to find out about using these lashes? &nbsp;Thank you.&nbsp;</p>