I have a Norwegian Hagen tapestry loom and I often get questions about it. A couple of interesting things popped up in the past month. I ran across a years-old email message from someone in our Scandinavian Weavers Study Group, about a Hagen loom for sale. Another member piped up and said that due to their rarity, the loom should sell for $300-$400.
Shortly after that, for a bit of research having to do with the upcoming issue of the Norwegian Textile Letter, I looked at weaving-related things for sale on finn.no, sort of the Norwegian Craigslist. OMG—Hagen looms are a dime a dozen. Or at least you could get one for 100 kroner, or $11.80. I took screen shots of all of the Hagen looms, and the Hagen-like looms, on the site on February 9, 2021. There were 20. There were also a few nice larger tapestry looms for sale, too, which I didn’t include in my photos.
Hagen looms are no longer being made. Learning tapestry weaving was very popular in Norway in the 60s and 70s, and as a result, many of the looms bought during that time are surfacing from basements and attics and being sold. Often they come with “en del garn,” a bunch of yarn.
Have you seen the work of Tonje Høydahl Sørli? She often uses repurposed Hagen looms as the frames for her tapestries. She explained this in an interview in Textile Curator:
Why do you display it on frames? “It started as an experiment, then I found out it was a good way to highlight the themes I am interested in and want to focus on. The frame is the tool, it is made for weaving, and was popular in Norway in the 1960s – 1980s. For many of those women weaving on a frame during the 1970s, when the fight for equal rights between women and men had its peek with the alternative movement, the weaving frame ended in the basement or attic. So for me its both a symbol of a fight for justice/equal rights that perhaps stopped to soon, and a way to show the work that lies behind the making of a tapestry.”
So on your next trip to Norway, you might want to take a big suitcase, and bring home a nice, sturdy loom.