Loom Maintenance and a Pledge of Patience

One of the wonderful things about making weaving videos is the dialogue that develops between the “stars,” our beloved weaving teachers, and the viewers. Everyone learns! Here’s our dear friend Tom Knisely to tell you what he’s learned from the weavers who’ve watched his video. ––Anita

Loom Maintenance

Tom Knisely and one of the many, many looms housed at The Mannings.

Positive feedback

The feedback I’ve received from viewers of my video The Loom Owner’s Companion has been unbelievable and very positive. I’ve actually been surprised by the number of people who said their spouses, partners, and even the kids watched and enjoyed the video as well.

The Loom Owner’s Companion has proved to be valuable to a much wider audience than I could ever have imagined. I thought that the video would be watched by weavers and loom owners, but people have told me that they watched the video to help them decide what type of loom to purchase. Of course, some of the viewers have said they were grateful for the helpful hints to get their older loom up and weaving again smoothly, which was my original vision. But the video has become so much more.

When planning the video I wanted a segment on weaving tools and other equipment that explained how to maintain them and keep them in good working condition. I was hoping to create a visual complement to a similarly themed chapter in Deborah Chandler’s book, Learning to Weave. I am a visual learner, and I wanted to show viewers like myself just how a tool works and then where to lubricate the moving parts or how to use furniture polish to maintain a like-new finish. This segment has been incredibly popular.

The unexpected

Something I never imagined of when we shot the video was how it could help people choose between fixing up an old loom or throwing in the towel and looking for another loom. One individual shared with me that after buying and watching the video they started making a list of all the work that had to be done to their loom. From the finishing of the wood to the cost of replacing all the rusted parts, the cost was out of sight. They were grateful for the suggestions and bought a new loom. The email ended with the statement “free isn’t always free.”

Loom Maintenance

In his video, Tom shows you how to take care of your loom and keep it in shipshape.

Shoe on the other foot

Here is a short story of how the shoe was on the other foot. I am fairly new to computing. I am a dinosaur within my generation. When I purchased my laptop computer, I also bought the extended warranty and trusted that the Geek Squad would not laugh uncontrollably when I came into the store. These good folks have been patient with me when I have a question or two. They make suggestions, help me decide what would be best for my needs, and even tell me what I don’t need. I can’t seem to go out of the store without making a purchase, so I know they are experts at what they do.

After the last experience I was bound and determined to patiently listen to what my customers are asking for, no matter how silly they may sound. When a person who is new to weaving comes in and asks for warp strings, I will show them the different threads and yarns and help them with their first project. When they ask for a new dent because the one in the “thingy bob” is rusted, I will try to fit them with a reed that works for their project and hopefully for the next few projects that they want to weave. I pledge not to chuckle. I will then suggest that might they want to buy and watch a great little video called The Loom Owner’s Companion.

—Tom Knisely

Featured Image: Checkered Board Rug in Warp Rep by Tom Knisely, Handwoven January/February 2012, Photo credit: Joe Coca

Find more resources by Tom Knisely in our shop!


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