Magento CommerceHandweavers Guild of America

Special Considerations When Buying a Used Loom

Information provided by Marcy Petrini

Special Consideration When Buying a Used Loom

Why is the weaver selling this loom?

  • If she really is a weaver, chances are that she is upgrading to a larger or a more complex loom and, if living close by, may be a great source of help.
  • If she is someone who does not really weave, beware! She may not be weaving because her loom is not fully functional. She is frustrated and is giving it up.
  • If it is part of an estate, make sure that the loom is functional and all of the parts are there. Take an experienced weaver with you to see it. Be particularly careful of disassembled looms, as they may be missing parts.
  • Be cautious of a “beautiful piece of antique furniture” masquerading for a functional loom. The antique dealer may not know how to weave or even tell if a loom is functional.

In what shape is this loom?

  • Check the obvious for use and abuse. Was this loom stored in the non-air-conditioned barn for many years? What is the state of the wood? Of the metal parts?
  • It may be hard to tell how well the loom will weave. Putting a warp across the width of the loom may be the only sure way to know. It is always possible to draw up a contract where final sale depends on this kind of check (which I wish I had checked once).

Who made the loom?

  • Is the manufacturer still in business if you need replacement parts?
  • Be particularly careful with homemade looms that were never used. There may be a reason for that. I saw a loom once with one side exactly 1" longer than the other.
  • Also, be careful with homemade looms whose maker is no longer available to make replacement parts.

What are you getting with this loom?

  • It may sound like a great deal until you realize the extras that you have to buy, either because the current owner wants to keep them or because they have been lost. Make sure that, when everything is added up, it wouldn’t be better to buy a new loom.
  • Check carefully what else may have to be replaced—rusted heddles, rusted or bent reeds, etc. Add those to the cost of the loom when comparing.
  • Are you getting and paying for something you do not need? A sectional warp beam may be an expensive add-on that you will not use and may even get in the way. Compare the cost of the used loom to that of a loom without the extra add-on.
  • Watch out for similar “deals,” like boxes of unusable yarn (don’t bring home those moths!).