DIY loom – To build the frame


To make the frame you will need:
5 pieces of pine wood 4 cm x 3.5 cm (1 1/2″  x 1 3/4″ )
three pieces 85 cm (33 1/2″ ) long, the other 2 pieces 75 cm (29 1/2″) long.
The longer pieces of wood are the height,
the shorter ones are the width of the frame.
5mm dowels, woodwork glue,
4 large metal corner brackets (with 3 screws on each side).

To put the frame together:
Lay the wood pieces out on the floor.
The pieces for the width placed on top and bottom of the long side pieces.
There is one long piece for the middle of the frame. See Diagram1
With a 5mm (1/4″) drill bit, drill holes from the top into the side wood underneath. You will have to keep it in place firmly at a safe distance 🙂
I find it easiest to insert the dowel into the hole while the pieces are still in position, and mark the dowel where the wood ends.  Then take
the dowel back out and cut at the mark with a hack saw.

Put a little wood work glue into the hole and around the dowel and insert the dowe into the hole.

Do one at the time until all are done.

Take the corner brackets. Start at the top inside corner. Drill the holes for the screws.
(You can mark the holes for drilling through the screw holes with a marker).
Screw in the screws. Continue for the other 3 corners. The middle  piece of wood does not need to have corner brackets.

Leave the frame for about 24 hours to ensure the woodwork glue has dried.

If you wish to make a smaller frame, adjust the measurements accordingly. My smaller frame is  height 70 cm (27 1/2″) and width 56 cm (22″). You will have to adjust all the following measurements given, to the size of your frame. The smaller frame fits easily into a car or can be taken on a bus.

But keep in mind, that this is not a Mini loom design.

Next time: how to install the heddle bar.

If you have any questions or suggestions,  feel free to write 🙂




Once upon a time, a long time ago ….

I had forgotten how long it takes to get something re- written and revised and go through stacks of photos to find the right ones….. It will take me a little longer to get it done…

I thought in the meantime, to tell you how it all started for me.
After the Darwin Cyclone Tracy I ended up in a small timber mill town in the Southwest of West Australia. It took several months for my friend in Darwin to organize sending my loom. She had lost  everything in the Cyclone (It had blown her house off the stilts and away) and I had gifted her everything I had to leave behind. In return her DH sent my loom. It arrived in an oversized box (trust me to buy an oversized loom!) at the train station one day.
I set the loom up at home and managed the few minor repairs. I set my loom up in the kitchen. It was a large kitchen with a wood stove on the other end and plenty of space for table and chairs too. My then husband worked night shift in the mill every second week, which gave me the opportunity to do some weaving without children to worry about. It ended up being the meeting place for the other women who did not want to be alone at home or worried about the noises in the wooden houses over night. Sometimes I was too tired and just spent the time chatting and other times I let everyone else chat and got busy. I had decided to do tapestry weaving rather than weave knotted rugs (which I love to do too). I had theorethical knowledge about the tapestry weaving technique and I had learned restoration work on 17th Century tapestries in Vienna, but I had never actually woven a tapestry myself before that. Still that had given me a fair idea what a tapestry should look like. 🙂
Then, was about 1976, in the age of no computers and in a small town without a library, totally isolated and only surrounded by people who had no idea what weaving or a loom were.
I had an array of different colour tapestry wool (the needle work type tapestry wool). I painted my design on some old graph paper I found and carefully sorted the wool colours and wrote the numbers into the appropriate spaces, as I had seen it being done in the “Gobelin Manufaktur” in Vienna – little rectangles on the cartoon. I had no idea of the skill required to do this succesfully. I warped my loom with the mop cotton, and very quickly realised that it stretched … and that the colours looked quite different when woven, than they did in the little skeins.


But I persisted. I ignored the numbers and just wove colours as I felt they looked right woven and put up with the varying tension. I learned a lot about tension that way :-).
My design subject was the Darwin Cyclon, still rather strongly on my mind.
I did manage to weave it all, but it had to be framed, since the warp was so limp that it would not hold the weaving flat. Still that was adventure no1. Excuse the picture quality. It was taken with a point and shoot camera all those years ago and this is the best I can do with it. The tapestry was 46 cm (approx 18″) wide and 66 cm (26″) high without frame. It was woven from the bottom up – and no, I had not heard about weaving a sampler or a small tapestry first …


My second tapestry was woven the same way, though, I left my then husband and had to leave the loom behind for some time, but took kids (of course!)and the started tapestry off the loom (equally of course  🙂 I wove the next part over the frame of an old single bed and finally wove the end part back on the loom when I was reunited with it.


Also the third tapestry, which was my first commission and was almost entirely woven with hand spun wool.


After that  I finally found out that “it wasn’t me”, but the mop cotton which did not allow my tapestries to hang properly. I had discovered Swedish Seine Twine in a weaving magazine – expensive but marvelous stuff and I am fine ever since! Still learning new things with every tapestry….

Hoping that you enjoyed this “interlude”
until next time,
keep cool or warm, depending on which half of the earth you live 🙂

PS: If you can not see a space to comment or “like” this blog, please scroll back to the title and click on “Once upon a time … a long time ago”. It will turn red and re fresh the page with the comment and “like”  spaces underneath the text (sorry for having to scroll up and down again – it’s just WordPress, not me  🙂

About the Vermiro DIY tapestry loom


This is how the finished Vermiro DIY loom looks, ready for weaving.

I am reviewing two work shop courses which I had initially published at Geocities.  Because of the many mails which I received thanking me for making the information available free of charge, I will do so again. Primarily because I started with very little to spend and am happy to help weavers who are looking for something which works and does not cost the earth. I am aware that there are other frame looms, primarily Archie Brennan’s pipe loom, which is also inexpensive and can also be made in many sizes and works very well.

As with all tools – there are many looms to choose from, because we are all different 🙂

The reason this loom came into being was, because I needed to supply my students with a portable loom, which they could take from home to classes and back, without upsetting the weaving. I remembered seeing pictures of nomadic tribes who took their looms with them, with the warp rolled up and ready to go at their new destination.  This gave me the idea for this  loom. It works well for the way I like to weave. The warp is actually independent of the frame. The frame only supports the warp and provides the means for good tension. That allows the work to be moved to where it is most comfortable to weave, and allows absolutely good tension at any time during weaving.

It is up to you to decide if this system will work for you.

I will add a lot of pictures to the diagrams in this publication to bring it up to date. In the pictures it shows my large DIY loom but it can be made in smaller sizes and I will give you measurements,  if you prefer something smaller. I use my DIY  loom primarily for the warp ends which are too short for my large tapestry loom (so called “loom waste” 🙂 and over the years, I have made many different size tapestries with it, without any difficulties.

If you should have any questions please always feel free to ask me.

I will see you next time with the first installment on the 10th Jan and weekly from then on.

All good wishes for the New Year 2013!