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A Monster Weaving and Warp-Weighted Looms at the Osterøy Museum

The morning visit of our textile tour group to the Osterøy Museum was filled with warp-weighted loom inspiration, just as I expected.

I saw the seat-belt-strap “Monster Weaving” in person, which Marta Klove Juuhl described so well in previous issues of the Norwegian Textile Letter (here and here). It stretches over a whole wall and down the long, tall room, unifying the newly-refreshed permanent exhibition.

Several warp-weighted looms are used in the space for teaching.  Formerly placed against the walls, they now lean against each other with a heavy wooden framework.

Inspiring sample pieces were draped on looms and displayed on tables. These pieces are variations on the Icelandic varafeldur tradition.  (Again, read more in the Norwegian Textile Letter, here.)

Fleecy locks in a tempting array of colors peeked out from bags stacked on a high shelf.

On the west coast of Norway, warp-weighted looms were used primarily for aklae-weaving, bright banded coverlets. In a traditional åklæ, the fancier weaving, such as a row of crosses in square-weave technique, would have been reserved for the top of the weaving, near the top of the bed.  The lower areas, near the feet of the people sleeping in the bed, generally had simpler rows of “teeth” patterns, in more muted colors.

Here are some more detail shots of warp-weighted loom woven åklær.  On that rainy, gray day, It was easy to understand the appeal of the bright coverlets on the bed or on the wall of homes in the area.


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