Making a little tapestry loom


By Terri and Ken Bryson

This winter I had the opportunity to teach a beginning tapestry class with a friend. The weaving guild we were teaching for didn’t have any tapestry looms. In the past, tapestry teachers provided looms, usually copper pipe looms, for their students to use during the class. We explored options.

The guild was very supportive and willing to buy looms for the class. Factors we considered were how to store the looms after the class, the cost, and how to handle the possibility that a student may want to take the loom home to weave between classes or purchase the loom after the class. The loom also needed to be small enough to be used on the surface of a TV tray.

We discussed having the students purchase a loom as a part of the supply fee. The least expensive commercial looms we could find cost approximately one hundred dollars and maybe more with the cost of shipping and handling. That seemed a bit much to ask of beginning tapestry students who may not even like tapestry weaving. Making their own looms didn’t seem realistic either.

Copper pipe looms were explored as an option. Copper has gone up so much in price that the copper pipe plus parts needed would have cost fifty dollars for a 12” x 12” loom. I didn’t want to spend that much money to provide a loom for each student or require the students to purchase a copper pipe loom.

My husband and I discussed how to provide looms at an affordable cost to us and the students. The solution was a small frame loom made with threaded rods, wooden horizontal bars to hold the threaded rods, and wing nuts to provide a way to apply or change tension to the warp. My husband made the looms for the students, my friend, and me to have for the class. Several of the students chose to purchase a loom so they could weave after the class. The cost to the students if they wished to purchase the looms was $20.

You can download the plan for the looms and some ideas for a stand to hold the loom in the links below the plan. We hope you will find the plans and ideas useful to make your own loom. The loom can be made larger or smaller depending on the need.




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