I saw the ad on Craig’s list two weeks ago. “Brio Child’s Loom.” Most of the weavers I know have more than one loom, and I wanted something a bit smaller than my Newcomb Studio to play with. However, I didn’t respond right away; thought perhaps a financially strapped parent would spot a great deal on a great toy. When the ad didn’t disappear, I finally contacted the seller, and now the loom lives here. It bears about the same relationship to my 4S/6T rug loom as the Chihuahua does to the mastiff.
John thinks it’s crazy. I think it might be fun. It’s certainly easier to find a place for the Brio loom than it would be to find space for the 48″ Union I had Craigslistlust over three months ago. (It sold before I had to act…)
Now, I’m thinking of ways to put a continuous warp on the loom, and how to accumulate fabric that is longer than the loom’s cloth beam will collect. I think if I clamp the loom to a table, and let the warp hang off the back, and roll the cloth on a spool up front, it might work. I’ll have to put some weight on the warp threads. The loom only takes a 38-thread warp, which won’t take too many weights.
Stay tuned. I want to make a silk ruana out of Nepalese sari fiber. Seven strips, 6″ wide, two yards long, sewn up, should do it. I tried weaving this fiber on a triangle loom, to much frustration. The silk fibers caught on each other and got jammed up in the loom, and they are spun too loosely to take much tension. That Nepalese silk is too think for the Brio’s heddle and reed, so I’ll have to warp with either fine silk or wool. Either will felt just a little and help hold the thicker silk weft in place.
Close up images of Brio Loom Rigid Heddle
A reader asked for close-ups of the rigid heddle for the Brio loom because her Brio was missing this part. Here are the pictures.
The heddle itself. It’s hard to see that pink warp threads are threaded through the small holes. Turquoise threads are inserted through the long slots.
The heddle from the other side of the loom (warp beam view), showing a little bit of the attachment.
An installation view of the rigid heddle from the cloth beam side. NOTE: I think my loom is attached wrong and I have plans to experiment with the cords. They are factory-glued in place and will need to be cut. I believe the peg handle should be vertical when the heddle is in the neutral position. The way this loom is assembled, I get a good shed in one direction and a useless shed in the other. (This may be why I was able to get the loom on the resale market–a new weaver would not have known that the problem was the loom and would have found this Brio difficult to use.)
A reader sent this link to a downloadable copy of the Brio Loom instructions. (The copy that came with my loom is exactly the same–tiny print, fine paper.)
Warping the Brio
A reader asked,
It has been a long time since I have used a loom, even then I had help with the warping. Do you know where to find a peg board to manage the warp for this loom? I would like to set it up for my children for xmas.
I think the loom instructions suggest not using more than a 2-yard warp, and if I’m wrong about that, it was a six-yard warp, max. For young children, I’d start with 2 yards.
You could simply wind warp around two dining room chair backs, with a cross in the middle, to get that (the reverse of winding balls of yarn from a skein…) I think the Brio only takes about 40 warp threads so it won’t take long at all.