A barn loom in Haverhill

At the John Greenleaf Whittier house in Haverhill, MA there is a barn loom in need of repair.  Or so I thought.  So I offered my services, brought it to the weaving guild, and got 7 to sign up to help.  And then I did nothing for a few months.  Well, at least nothing with the loom at Whittier.  But someone reminded me about the loom and I got my sorry butt off the chair (or whatever I was sitting in at the moment) and we got started. 

We have the trustees of the homestead on our side and the caretaker is more than thrilled that we are going to have that loom functioning.  He gets plenty of questions and hypothesis on how the loom works, so we are happy to take the mystery out of the whole process by having that loom up and running as it was intended to be.  We have much more to do, but it’s not in as bad a state as I originally thought. Yes, the harnesses need to be fixed, but they are usable as they are.  The reed is good, but we are going to substitute a modern steel one so we don’t damage the original.  And we are missing a brake for the cloth beam – not a minor detail, without the brake we can’t weave because we won’t be able to maintain any tension.  But the project is moving along!

I took some preliminary pictures.

Shown from back, as you enter the room

From the back, looking up. The clearest picture of the entire loom.

From the side, looking at the harnesses.

Close up of the harnesses.

The front beam.

The reed

The treadles

The top of the loom (looking a bit fuzzy).

Just click on the pictures to make them bigger.


About me

Fiber artist - knit, weave, and quilt. I am also getting back into garment sewing. I have started to dye my own yarn and I'm learning to spin.
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