Sunday, June 07, 2015

And now for something completely different ... Weaving on the Table Loom

Fabric woven on my Peacock Table Loom.

It's been cool enough that I can't be out on the porch in my Spring and Fall Studio making more textures.   As luck would have it, I was introduced to a neat lady in town who's house is filled with antiques, including a giant floor loom, lots of yarns and fibers (including a live fiber hound!), spinning wheel,  multiple antique irons, old sewing machines, boxes and jars full of buttons, and books, books, books!   Seeing her big floor loom, and all that fiber made me "hungry" to do some weaving again  ...  so I dug out my little table loom ... and got caught up in the meditation of weaving this afternoon.  

I finished out the ball of yarn I was working on.  I love these homespun yarns.  They are "bumpy" (but soft) and fill up the spaces in between the warp strings very nicely.   I love how the color changes on this one from purple to green to blue amidst all the browns.  Makes me wish I'd purchased another skein!

Peacock Table Loom (view from the back).
Here you can see the warp strings unrolling.

I also found out that my little table loom is very likely a vintage Peacock Table Loom handmade by The Handcrafters in Waupon, WI--not far from here.   It has 2 harnesses with string heddles.  This afternoon, doing a little research, I found 3 of them on eBay for $45, $89, and $99, respectively-- in varying stages of disrepair.

Someone gave this one to me a few years ago when Oshkosh was experiencing it's own flooding, and people in many neighborhoods were clearing out flood-damaged items from their basements.  Yup--I'm not too proud to say it was trash-picked with me in mind--and for that I'm the grateful recipient.  ;-)    It did not appear to be water-damaged at all.  Just people tossing things out.   I did have to take a class to learn how to put on the warp strings.  That's a job and a half!  And I did replace the string heddles (made 'em myself on a jig my husband made me) and a few of the other lacings that had not aged as well as the wood.  It's a good little loom -- perfect for learning the basics before moving onto a larger model--if I ever have room for a larger model.

For future reference, I took a photo of this to remind myself to leave about this much slack in the newly woven strand before I push them tight against the fabric.  Otherwise, too much tension in the strans will make the sides warp.   This much slack is just about right.  

For future reference, here's a video about warping this particular style of Peacock Table Loom :

This will be helpful for me when it comes times to warp it again--which may be later this summer.

I'm still not sure what to do with the fabric made on this little loom.  Suggestions? 


The Idaho Beauty said...

Now there's the conundrum. Just read on another blog the same call for ideas of how to use a rather large handwoven. & dyed silk piece. Seems a shame to cut it up but that may be her best bet. As for yours, no ideas. But it does make my fingers want to touch it.

Gabrielle Lawrence said...

Do you have specs on the heddle strings that you created?

Gabrielle Lawrence said...

I don't suppose you have further information on re-creating the string heddles for that loom? I got the loom and it is missing them and they need to be re-created.

Michele Matucheski said...

Gabrielle Lawrence -- If you still have an old heddle string, use it as a model for making the new ones. It's very simple to do --- My husband made a jig for me. It was a board with 4 nails in it around which I tied the knots so that all the heddles were more-or-less uniform. It worked great for being so low-tech.

Anonymous said...

The video is no longer available. Can you suggest how I might see the Peacock being warped? Thank you so much - I have a new little one. Mimi

Michele Matucheski said...

Unfortunately, the video is no longer available. Darn! That was a really nice and useful little video, too!
To Mimi above, I would suggest you sign up for the Floor Loom weaving class or even the rigid heddle weaving classes at Craftsy. The floor loom is similar enough to the little Peacock loom, that I think you'll be able to transfer the knowlsdge imparted. Just know you'll have only 2 shafts to deal with, not 4 -- which is why the rigid heddle class might be easier for a beginner. Otherwise, there are a number of generic floor loom waving classes out there that will show you how to warp a loom, generically. Tom Kniesley is supposed to be good, too!