Wednesday, 1 March 2017

A unique four shaft and four treadle band loom

Many years ago, I bought a four shaft, four treadle band loom.  It was made by Michael Crompton a tapestry weaver. You can find out more about him here.

He was leaving his lovely cottage in Weardale and concentrating on tapestry weaving so he sold all his large looms.  He had made and adapted the design to suit his weaving.  At the time,  I was teaching weaving at a local authority Arts Centre and I bought a large floor loom for the class.  For myself, I bought this charming band loom.  Fortunately I am tall with long legs as the reach to the treadles is quite awkward for anyone with short legs.

The loom is beautifully made in solid oak and consequently quite heavy. There are no metal parts at all.  All the joints are dovetailed.

Michael Crompton's band loom.

Side view showing the castle
The beater is very sturdy.  It came with a one reed but I found some reed off cuts of different dents to use in the loom.

Detachable treadles - they unscrew from the bar at the back of the loom

He designed the treadles so that if the loom is transported, the foot bars can be unscrewed so that the loom can be laid flat.

On the side is a trademark carved bird.

He and his wife used the loom to weave mug mats to match the line of table mats that they sold. With the band loom came a sack full of ready made warps.  I am now down to the last one as the warps are very long.

Here are some mug mats I wove on the previous white wool warp.

Two complete ;mug mats with the last set cut off the loom.

The wool is coarse carpet wool.  I hem stitch the mug mats then cut them apart.  The mats go into the wash so that they felt slightly. This holds the fringes together. Then the fringes can be cut neatly. They need to be pressed quite hard whilst still damp.

They are ideal as mug mats.  They are absorbent and protect the surface of a table from the heat of the mug.  They can also be washed.

Here is the weave drawdown. There are 48 ends of brown rug wool.

Two variations for mug mats

Here are examples that I wove on the brown warp.

Here you can see the strip of four mug mats that have been stitched and washed but not yet trimmed.
The slight action of felting holds the ends together neatly.

I still have lots of  warp left so I am going to try different colours for the weft.

The mats are very practical and wash well.

This loom is going to be sold as I am running short of space.  I wanted to ensure that it was in full working order.

Happy weaving

Susan j Foulkes March 2017


  1. This is amazing! I have a two-treadle band loom from Glimakra but have never seen one like this. Do you already have a buyer? (Of course I shouldn't ask--shipping cost alone would be prohibitive!)

  2. I don't have a buyer yet but you are right. The shipping costs would be enormous. It is made of solid oak and is very heavy.

  3. What a beautiful loom and lovely mug mats! It is so much fun to see the creativity of people who can actually make their own looms!

    1. Yes Michael was a very talented woodworker as well as a weaver. He made most of his looms including a large floor loom which he designed so that the reed which was in several sections, could be moved around to create unusual textiles. The warp threads could cross each other - most ingenious.

  4. That is one beautiful loom - you must let us all know when and where you are selling it!! (some of us live in the UK and would travel for a beauty like that!!)

  5. Yes, I will advertise it in the U.K. It would need to be collected as it is heavy and does not come apart. I will be sorry to see it go but it seems such a waste not to have it in use.

  6. Loom-lust is a terrible, terrible thing . . .

  7. Oh I know! I have more rigid heddles than I could ever use but they are so beautiful!
    Susan J Foulkes

  8. Hi! This is beautiful! I realize you posted this awhile ago, but did you ever find a buyer??

  9. Hello Susan, I am interested in trying to build a loom like this one. I contacted the maker but he does not have plans. Do you still have this loom? Is there a way that we could get in touch regarding it? Thank you.

    1. Hi Elizabeth

      I am in the Durham Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers. You are welcome to come and have a look at the loom. Contact the secretary of the Durham Guild and they will pass your message on to me.



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