The Nail Frame Loom

Nail Frame LoomHere is the nail frame loom which my husband finally made for me in the spring of last year (2012), warped up and ready to use. It measures 2 ft (60 cm) by 3 ft 6 ins (105 cm) and has nails along the top and bottom  which you  wind the warp thread round. These are set at half-inch intervals, staggered in a zig-zag pattern so that you can warp is at either 4 or, using the warping yarn double, 8 epi (ends per inch).

The most difficult part of warping is keeping the tension even and firm. I was so concerned about this the first time I warped it that I actually pulled it too tight (even bending one or two of the nails!), which caused a few problems when weaving. I have learnt my lesson and do not now pull it so tight. I have come to the conclusion that the actual tension of the warp is down to individual preference, so long as it is tight enough to weave on, and not something to get too stressed about.

The loom has no means of support and can be a bit cumbersome to use. I find it best to stand it on a stool and lean it against the back of an armchair. Then I sit on an adjustable stool to work so that I can raise myself up gradually as I progress up the weaving. I think the next project to involve my husband with is the design of some sort of stand for it.

Original Black and Wite SamplerI thought you might also like to see a picture of the sampler that started it all off so I have scanned this in from my ex-library book. You may like to compare it with my own version which I will post later.

I didn’t actually start to weave this straight away. While my husband was making the loom I read and re-read the instructions for each section of the sampler and found that it wasn’t as straight forward as I had first thought, some areas and techniques did not seem to be fully explained in the text. Considering that the sampler only occupied one chapter of a book about various types of weaving this is not really surprising but I decided I needed to  know more about the techniques involved and have a bit of practice before I attempted such a major enterprise so I bought another book and another loom…



2 thoughts on “The Nail Frame Loom

  1. Pia December 19, 2013 / 7:35 am

    Small table easels for painting aren’t all that expensive. But I bet he could make a a pair of legs, have a look at the A frame for the Schacht tapestry loom!

    • Libby December 19, 2013 / 10:55 am

      Many thanks for the tip Pia. My daughter has leant me a metal artists easel but it won’t take the full height of my frame loom. It will take it sideways and since that is how I am going to use it next it will be fine. Being an engineer anything my husband makes is VERY substantial and I worry about the usual artists easel taking the weight. I’ll take a look at the Schacht one as you suggest!

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