My first project: a twill sampler using four shafts on my new Louet. Writing Louet W30 8 Shaft Table Loom each time takes too long, so from here on out, it’s simply the Louet.
This is actually a used loom. One of the previous owners had marked the center of the reed with a black magic marker… something I would not do to any loom! I prefer discrete pencil marks. 🙂 But this Louet was 1/2 the price of new, so I’ll take the mark and deal with it.
I used a short cotton warp to play around with my new loom and a simple twill pattern. Harness 1 (the one closest to the weaver) is the first strand, harness 2 the second, 3 the third, 4 the fourth, and then repeat. I checked out of the library “A Handweaver’s Pattern Book,” by Marguerite Porter Davison (which I think I should buy if I can find a copy), and discovered several pages of twill patterns I can weave with this exact threading. So, I’m getting used to the little loom by weaving twill variations, and so far I love it. My selvages are messy because I have to hook the shuttle over loose strands. In the future, I must investigate floating selvages, which will probably solve this problem.
It’s really fun to flip the little levers on the top of the loom to raise and lower the harnesses. I’m only using four of the eight, so my mind is going crazy figuring out what’s next for the Louet.
As far as the history of this particular model, from what I understand, the W30 (meaning 30 cm wide of weaving) was once a give-away when an ambitious weaver would purchase one of the huge and expensive Louets. I guess when a weaver would shell out several thousand dollars to get a room-sized Louet, the W30 was just a perk. The small loom was probably used as a sample loom to practice a pattern before going to the trouble of warping the big loom. Because the tower can be taken off and the loom is easily transported, it is also used as a workshop or demo loom.
Since then, it’s been sold as a stand-alone loom, and it can still be purchased from a few vendors, but it’s no longer in production and Louet doesn’t sell it any longer, having put their energy into the sturdier Jane table loom. Although this loom is just what I wanted, it does have a light feel and if you’re the type of weaver who has a heavy touch, you may not want to choose this one. However, it’s compact, versatile and perfect for me.
Project ideas: bookmarks, fancy scarf, new iPod cover…