If any of our readers had visited the Society in the past 10 years or so while we were still in the lower level of Maynard Town Hall you might have noticed some fairly large wooden structures tucked in the corner collecting dust. These were pieces of a loom that came from a Fairfield Street house and was used to make carpets at the turn of the 20th century. Since we acquired this piece we’ve never had the room to assemble it — until last week…
During one of our Wednesday morning work sessions Len Palmer, Paul Boothroyd and I brought a bunch of pieces out to a work area and we took our shot at putting it together. We didn’t think we’d get it right on the first shot (and we had a couple of small errors along the way) but we think we have an accurate reconstruction.
Today I spent some times working on the heddles. If I’ve counted properly the loom is set up for 88 warp threads. Untangling them after a decade of storage and at least 3 moves took a bit of time.
We are looking forward to having some folks familiar with looms and weaving help us with the next stages.
We’re going to do a light cleaning of the loom to remove (or mitigate) some mildew and dirt. The loom needs some wedges to secure the major elements. The weaver’s seat is also missing and we’ll likely cajole a local craftsman into building a replica.
Sometime next year we hope to load some warp threads on the loom and perhaps start weaving some cloth on it, perhaps, for the first time in 90 or 100 years. When we do so, we’ll be sure to make a video of the process and share it with everyone.