Warp-Weighted Looms

loom weights
These aren't the worst donuts 
ever, they're actually ancient
weaving tools.
Warp Weight Loom in Pottery
Greek pottery depicting two
weavers at a warp-weighted

If you’ve ever seen donut shaped pieces of stone in a museum labeled as “loom weights” and wondered, what exactly that meant, this is the BeWeave It for you!

Those loom weights were used on what’s known as a warp-weighted loom. This sort of loom looks like a bit like a frame loom, but instead of being attached at the bottom of the loom, each warp thread is tied to a weight.

For longer warps, the excess threads might be wound on the weights so that when the weaver reached the bottom of the available warp, they could roll the woven part over the top and release more warp thread from the weight. Because of its set up—weavers could easily walk from one side to the next when inserting weft—the warp-weighted loom also lent itself to creating wider fabrics than were possible on peg looms or the later floor looms.

There’s evidence of these looms being used going back to the Neolithic period, and they were woven on by many a weaver in Greece, Serbia, Northern Africa, and especially in Scandinavia. In fact, weavers in Scandinavia used these looms into the twentieth century. (And they are enjoying a resurgence today among historical re-enacters and weavers interested in preserving this ancient tradition.)


Post a Comment