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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tape Loom Class

--Republican American, November 19th 2008

The first class was to my Goshen kids at Camp Coch this summer. The children did a nice job... but there were too many in the classes!

My second class teaching the fine art of Early American Tape making was at the Litchfield Historical Society. I was excited to hear that 13 people signed up, but was a little leary of that many people working in a tangle of threads and fitting around a room.

My paddle tape loom boards need to be attached to a door handle or something firm about 4 feet from the weaver. I attached cup hooks every 12 inches to a narrow plank and clamped this to a table. Then the weavers attached their warp threads to these hooks and placed chairs in a semi circle around the room.

I soon found 13 was quite a number of people to fit into this room and finish in an hour and a half! The set up of any loom is the longest and tedious part of the set up. Once the students got set up though and realized how the loom works, they did a beautiful job. We just ran out of time to get much tape finished!

Some bought a loom, and others planned to make one themselves. Some can now say they have learned something new and have a piece of weaving to prove it. These looms are simple to make and work and once they crasped the concept, I hope they will be able to tell others how looms work. It is another bit of history too. In years past, women would take these simple looms to friends houses or work on making rolls of tapes for future use in their spare time. Tapes like these were used as ties and bindings on clothing and fabrics before the use of zippers and mass produced ribbons.

There is a page on my web site if you would like to learn more about them.

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