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RE: colonial american weaving


From: Judy Decker (judydeckeriad_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Oct 20 2003 - 09:42:06 PDT

Hi Jan,

Looms with heddles/harness loom have been around a
long time...

Simplest looms were one harness (device through which
warp yarns are threaded). The Colonial home loom
varied from two to four harnesses. Harnesses may be
connected to foot treadles which raise or lower them,
singularly or in combination. The earliest coverlets
wre woven on two harness hand looms. soon to be
replaced by four harness handlooms. Looms were often
set up in the common room of the home or in a loom
shed, separate from the main dwelling. Usually women
were weavers. During the late 18th and early 19th
Centuries - a 'Colonial' style, 4-harness,
counter-balanced loom was used.

Here is just a blurb I found:

"The making of woven bed covers underwent a revolution
in the early 1800's after Joseph Maric Jacquard of
France invented weaving loom attachment that used a
series of Punch cards for figured and fancy woven
patterns, Previously, overshot coverlets using hand,
barrel or draw looms prevailed. The jacquard
attachment enabled the master weaver to create a
larger coverlet panel, work much more efficiently, and
reduce costs drastically."

Here is a modern version of a Colonial Handloom:

Here is a demonstration photo:

Here is one that would closely resemble looms from
Colonial America:

Here is a reproduction Colonial Harness loom
(althought this one has more harnesses than was
typical-- a bit more fancy):
other models (company has been in business for around
100 years)

I did search history of loom and colonial loom...but
gave up finding anything more difinitive. I could
probably go upstairs and look it up in my weaving book
- but this should be enough of an answer for your
students. Our local county museum has a four harness
loom on display (but I do't know the age of it).


--- "Hillmer, Jan" <> wrote:
> As long as we're discussing Col. Am. art, Thanks,
> Sharon, for your wonderful site - we're doing a
> weaving project based on your woven drawstring bags.
> A question, tho. Does anybody know what types of
> looms were used during those early American days? A
> student wondered out loud, and I didn't really know.

> Thanks for any and all help!
> Jan

Judith Decker
Incredible Art Department
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