I enjoy weaving on my upright table-top Glimåkra tapestry loom. It is a style that is no longer made. But if you find one used, I recommend it! It is sturdy and holds tension well. With beams, you can put on a long warp. It is less portable than you might guess, though. When I have taken it to workshops I take or teach, it’s a beast to get in the car; it’s heavy and bulky and difficult to wrangle into the back seat or hatch area. Look at the foot on the bottom left of the loom; I still have to replace a piece that broke off while taking it out of my car one time.
Sometimes loom acquisition is a matter of being at the right place at the right time. I filled in as a staff person at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota several years ago when a dust-covered tapestry loom came in as a donation. It was warped and a piece was in progress–not a tapestry, but a mildewed plain weave cloth. I bought it for $20, because the person in charge of donations wanted to get the musty item out of the Guild office ASAP. When I took it home and removed the moldy wool, I discovered it was a Glimåkra!
I took off the bad warp and took photos of how everything was tied on. I contacted Joanne Hall and she was nice enough to send me a pdf of warping instructions. I also took photos of a warped loom just like it, which was used as a demonstration at the fabulous Contemporary International Tapestry exhibit at the Hunterdon Art Museum in 2015.
Notice on the loom warped below that the knobs on the top are used as spacers for winding on the warp to the back beam. Then look up at my loom. I use a reed tied to the top to wind on the warp, and to keep the warp threads nicely spaced for weaving.
The loom size is 32″ wide by 35″ tall. The piece on the loom is 22.5″ wide, which is about as wide as I would like to weave on it. It’s a nice size loom, in that it doesn’t take up much space in the room, but you can still weave a sizable piece. But I’m in the market for a bigger loom, too. So if anyone knows of a nice large tapestry loom coming up for sale near Minnesota, let me know. If I find a big one, I may let this one go. There are already two people who have contacted me about whether I want to sell it!
I’ve been showing everybody I know a pic of this loom. I imagine fifty others have spoken up, still, I want to throw my hat in the “I’ll buy this loom” ring. It would be ideal for me and my tiny apartment life.
Also, thank you for your outpouring of love through your art. I so appreciate your sharing.
Unfortunately I don’t have a tapestry loom wasting away in my basement. However, I do have an amazing floor loom that is quite old and special in that the beam is a log, the reeds appear to be actual reeds and the piece collapses into a bundle that could readily be carried in a “pioneer” wagon. Do you know anyone who might be interested? I’ve been carrying it around for 40 years …
Hope you and your family are well.
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It would be lovely to try a some day! Now I only use kumihimo to weave due to the corona. Perhaps next month I weave to a small green carpet with the ordinary loom. Nice summer to you 🙂 Pirjo H
Wow! I am a fairly new weaver and was just given this loom and I have very little idea how to use it. I found the pdf on your blog for warping, but I will need a little more help. Any suggestions? There is no heddle on mine (but I assume I could buy one).
Hi Ellen, I was reading through the warping instructions that are linked to my post, thinking about reading them for the first time, and they appear daunting. My own process is slightly different. For example, I don’t ever use the top knobs for spacing, and use a 10-dent reed (the regular type you might use on a floor loom). The next time I warp the loom I will film a step-by-step manual–because people keep asking! But with my current projects, and the current warp on the loom, that probably won’t be for another year. My advice is to read the instructions over and over, examine your own loom over and over, and DO expect the warping to take a long time.
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