How to Make a Copper Tapestry Loom

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at Tapestry Weaving for quite some time. I’ve looked at a number of DIY looms online, but just never got around to making one. That is until now. I got serious about it after a mistake I made dying some yarn the other day. I accidentally over did it on the blue and rather than a nice sky blue that I needed, it came out bright cobalt. I got to thinking “what ever am I going to do with that?”. It’s just a small amount. Only about 60 yards of handspun. Then it hit me – Tapestry!

The loom I am going to make is one I found online at http://brennan-maffei.com/Loom.htm. I’ll be making it per the directions with just a couple of modifications. I’ll point those out as I go along. The 1st change is in the size. I’ll be making mine to be 24″x36″.

I’ve gathered all my materials. You may be tempted to buy something like PVC for this (which is cheaper) but really, you’ll want the strength of the copper. Tapestry weaving requires the warp to be kept fairly tight. PVC would be too flexible.

These are for the basic loom before my modifications.

DSC_0079 2 pipes 3/4″ cut to 24″

2 pipes 3/4″ cut to 14″

2 pipes 3/4″ cut to 22″

4 elbows

2 6″ threaded rods. They are 3/4″ and fit inside the pipe

4 nuts 3/4″

not pictured – 8 self drilling screws size 8×1/2

As I said though, I have added some modifications: Cut each of the 22″ pipes into 2 pieces. 20″ and 2″. Then cut the 14″ pipes into 10 1/2″ and 3 1/2″.

Begin by attaching the elbows to the 24″ pipes using the screws. Then attach both of the 20″ pipes to one of the 24″ pipes at the elbows, again using the screws. Do the same thing with the 10 1/2″ pipes and the other 24″ pipe.

Now for more modifications.

I wanted to be able to stand my loom up on a table. I decided that I could cut corners a bit here and went with the CPVC. You will need CPVC not PVC. The measurements is different. A 3/4″ PVC is bigger than a 3/4″ CPVC… and won’t fit the pipe. Go figure. I purchased 2 each  Tees and  45 degree angles (also 3/4″). I also got a 48″ wooden dowel to fit into the angles. Which I then cut in half.

Place a Tee on each of the 20″ pipes with the T part facing to the back. Add the 3 1/2″ to the top of that – in a strait line with the 20″ pipe. Next you’ll put the 2″ piece in the Tee at a right angle to the frame. Add the 45 degree angle to this with the open end facing down (if the loom were standing on the table).  Insert the wooden dowels. As an added touch I put rubber caps on mine to protect the table.

You should now be able to stand the bottom half of the loom up.

DSC_0007

 

Next put 2 nuts on each threaded rod in the centers. These will slide into the pipes and the nuts will provide you with a means of expanding the loom, there by tightening the warp. Slide the top of the frame in place and – You’re done!

DSC_0013

It may sound somewhat confusing, but if you take a look at the photos, you’ll see that it is really quite easy. The whole thing can be put together in under an hour.

I think I have an idea of what I want to weave. I’ll be posting that as soon as I get started!

 

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2 Responses to How to Make a Copper Tapestry Loom

  1. Lori says:

    Great site. I love the pics. So many things I want to try. Definitely going to have to try this tapestry loom, and the Kool-aid dying. The Yurt looked like sophisticated camping.

  2. Theresa Ryan says:

    Woman, I never know what to expect from you! That looks amazing – I can’t wait to see what you do on it.