Saw this on Craig's List and it looked intriguing.  You purchase the plans/book; couldn't tell from the pictures how they handled the brake system...


Claudia Segal (not verified)

The loom was created by Dave Holly and he just joined Weavolution.  I believe he gets on almost daily.  I'll let him know you have a question about the brake.


WeaverDave (not verified)

Hi sequel,

That's my book!  :)  I had a really hard time working out the brake mechanism for the loom.  Especially since Loom manufacturers DO NOT want to sell you brake parts unless it is as a replacement on one of their own looms.

So, I found a very simple solution.  Bar Clamps! 

There are 2 large eye hooks that you insert into the bottom of the loom frame for the tail part of the bar clamps.  The clamp part then grabs the roller to hold it still.  It works very well and I even explain how you can use the bar clamps to assist you during the construction of the PVC Loom.

When weaving I first loosen the rear roller bar clamp and advance the warp a few inches.  I tighten the rear bar clamp on the roller, and then loosen the front clamp and pull the finished weaving forward.  Takes about as much time as any table loom to use.

I've used the bar clamps to secure a raddle to the rear beam when putting on a new warp.  They are really handy to have around.

Here is another view of the loom.  You can see the clamps on the rear left of the loom.  There is one on the right front, but it's getting cut off in the photo.

Sara von Tresckow

Or one can design a brake system and find a small business to make them in limited quantity. Ratchet and pawl mechanisms can be produced by laser or water cutting in small job shops.

Yes, they cost money - that is partly why well constructed looms cost what they do.

Threshkin (not verified)

Why not just set up a friction brake system?  They are pretty simple and could be done with just a piece of rope and a spring.

WeaverDave (not verified)

Actually, the bar clamps worked so well that I stopped looking for other solutions. 

WeaverDave (not verified)

I have been amazed at what primitive cultures were able to do with sticks and string to create beautiful and useful textiles.  And, they did it using "found objects" in whatever region they lived.  Sheep, goats, hemp, linen, branches, logs, etc. 

So, I decided to design a loom that was made from "found objects" in our modern era.  And, I accomplished this.  Everything you need to build this PVC Loom can be found at Lowes, Home Depot, and Sears Hardware – minus the reed and heddles.  I avoided buying loom-specific hardware and devices as much as possible.

What I discovered along the way is that we have the benefit of a vast array of precision-made objects like PVC pipe and dimensioned lumber.  Other than sawing PVC Pipe and cleaning up the edges, no other finishing is required.  This is much easier to use than a “found” tree branch.  PVC pipe is straight and it fits snuggly into elbow and “T” joints.  The success of the PVC Loom is due to the use of these inexpensive objects.

I really enjoy weaving projects on a loom that I built myself.  I see many people weaving on frame looms that they built themselves or old looms that were restored.  It creates the economy most people enjoy in other crafts like knitting.  Look at what people can do with 2 needles and some yarn.  You have to work hard to pay more than $20 for a pair of knitting needles.  I think this lets people create something that’s worth more than the sum of its parts.

Threshkin (not verified)


PVC pipe is a nice material to work with but it does not have a lot of lateral strength.  Do you have much trouble with the front or back beams bending under tension?  I noticed that the warps you show in your web site pictures do not appear to be under a lot of tension.

I strongly support your attitude towards DYI and using found objects.  I first started researching building my own loom about a decade ago but was stymied by a lack of plans or innovators like yourself.  I wound up approaching "found objects" from a different direction and have been able to locate several used looms for little or no money.  Typically less than the value of the wood used.  It gives me a lot of satisfaction to know that I  am using a loom that might otherwise have wound up in the garbage heap. 

WeaverDave (not verified)

The PVC pipe I used is 1 1/4" in diameter and does not give under proper weaving tensions.  Plus, the weaving width is 24", so the span of the pipe is short which adds to the strength. 

This is actually the same principle as used by the Cannondale Bicycle company.  They used much lighter weight tubes in their frames, but they were much larger in diameter to provide the same strength. 

whiteoakgrandmother (not verified)

Both PVC, copper pipe and other pipe such as aluminum conduit can be strengthened if need be, by slipping a wooden dowel (or old broom handle, etc.) that fits snugly, into the pipe. This can be a simpler, stronger, and less expensive fix than larger pipe.

Marsha A. Knox (not verified)

I too used that mentality when I built my first loom.  I figured if the Native American Indians (think Navajo) can find a way to build a loom and weave beautiful pictures in the middle of a desert then I, who works at Home Depot at the time, and have access to power tools, should be able to figure out how to build one without spending tons of money.  And I did.  I built my best loom out of culled lumber.  It was free standing and built to my own specs...even used pipe straps on the sides of the legs to put things like my sissors.  Had a tray for my tools and all.  Even had a tensioning system.  I did ruin alot of wood in the process though.  Unfortunately I have moved on to one that takes less space and forfeited that one when I moved.

My first one one of PVC, it was a bead loom and I have never used one that I liked as well since.  My current tapestry loom is also homemade by a friend who welds (the one that takes up less room).  He said he built it in 30 min. out of scrap aluminum.  The one I wanted was around $600 and I used a small one to show him what I wanted.  It does everything the one I wanted does and I love it because he made it for me.  He didn't even know what he was building or how to use it.   Below is a picture of a much smaller one that I put together myself out of wood and hardware pieces.  

I will definitely be buying this book.


WeaverDave (not verified)

Interesting photo of 2 very determined weavers from Iran.  No expensive brakes or harness mechanisms here.  This loom is literally made from sticks and branches.

Two nomads from the Zoreh valle in central-southern Iran busily at work weaving a kilim. Carpet weaving and knotting is still one of the main economic activities of the nomadic tribes of Iran. 

bolivian warmi

Hi WeaverDave,

Thanks for this picture. Have you been there...did you take this picture?

WeaverDave (not verified)

This one has been modified a bit.  They made a stand for it and painted it gloss black.  I wasn't so sure about the color till I saw it.  I think they did a great job!  Ravelry Link

Claudia Segal (not verified)

Nice loom.  I really like the gloss black.  When I first saw the picture I wondered where someone found black PVC pipe.  Then, I read the description.  

Thanks for posting it Dave.

WeaverDave (not verified)

They used a PVC paint that bonds directly with the pipe.  Comes in all sorts of colors - including pink! 

Claudia Segal (not verified)

You noticed I have a penchant for pink.  I love my iPhone cover in bright pink and am happy with the case my son bought me for my new iPad.  It's a case and keyboard in one.

If I had more confidence in my building skills or someone to lend a hand, plus a few more tools, I would build this loom.  I really want a 4 shaft table loom to do some sampling on and this loom looks perfect.   

Next week I am adding a trapeze to my studio.  If building that goes well, I will have to buy a copy of your book.


missbeckyohh43 (not verified)

Can anyone tell me if this is a jack loom?  or can be made into a jack loom?

WeaverDave (not verified)

with a 24" weaving width.  There are lots of other questions that have been answered at 

jabberpaws (not verified)

For showing off my loom here I keep forgeting this forum is here!