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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Circa 1930's Apache Bead Loom

I enjoy adding looms to my studio inventory. My latest and favorite find, so far, is this circa 1930's Apache Bead Loom! These looms were originally patented in 1903 to offer 'hands on' beading, to the Victorian Lady, at home. The clippings and manuals state this loom can also be an invaluable tool, to Mothers and Teachers, "The lesson learned on a loom will help the children be skillfull with their fingers and develope their mechanical and artistic brains cells."

This purchase included the fold-out paper instructions, a spool of thread, all the pegs, small charted designs and the half completed piece on the loom, with weft and a thin needle still attached.

I find this an interesting set up, opposed to what we find on looms, in our market today. The only roller, has a "gilt headed tack". To begin, the number of warps required are knotted together, then the warps are split and hinged on the tack. Turn the roll once, then use gilt head tack #2 by placing it into a hole on the outside of the roller edge.

Each warp is separated and placed in a corresponding snotches in the "fret", on each end. The instructions also include a suggestion of using a strong, linen finish thread or silk.

The final step is to secure the opposite end, of the warps, by slipping them, grouped, between the knotch, on base, and plug the hole.

Another thread is cut, for the weft. It is suggested to start weaving on the loom, with the roller furthest from you. Tension is controled by removing the plug, pulling on the warps, then replacing the plug. The tack can also be moved to another hole, in the roller end.

The directions for warp management are summed up by suggesting each warp be knotted, in groups of two, or rewoven back into the finished work.

I can whole heartedly agree, with the manual, stating this loom offers a means to develope mechanical and artistic brain cells. Think I will have this same suggestion, written down and framed, for my bead studio wall. [Like I need a reason to weave on a loom often :) ]


  1. Oh wow - you never cease to amaze! I can see this being the beginning of a collection of "antique" looms - what a fascinating read!

  2. Thanks for sharing your find! That's a great piece of history, as well as a working loom.

    I could use some more mechanical and artistic brain cells!

  3. Thank you Caron. I have been learning so much, just by pursuing various looms. I want to share what I learn. Your comment makes me feel good!

  4. Thanks Dixie.... But I think you may over load your brain, if YOU acquire any more "artistic brain cells"!

  5. This is SO interesting!!! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Erin not only did you share a fascinating find, but the warping process is very unique too. Quite remarkable how old the loom is and it's excellent condition. We were also VERY impressed you used the word "weaving". YAY! Thank you for taking the time to share the loom. We really enjoyed learning about it. Mac and Sue