In my infinite quest to learn something new. I joined a knitting club in Cortland and went on a field trip to see an learn from a weaver who saves barn looms.
So, just like when I was a little kid who thought flea markets were called that because they only sold fleas. I had that naïve moment where I thought barn looms were called that because they were stored in barns. Well, it turns out they are called that because of the construction. They are built with the same craftsmanship as barns. This is why they have managed to last for hundreds of years and weigh almost a ton.
The weaver who gave us a tour and educated us on looms was amazing. She teaches weaving and loves to talk about looms and weaving. She is also a huge supporter of preserving the history of looms. Like someone who rescues stray animals, she rescues barn looms. She has a total of seven. They are all housed at the Truxton Academy Charter School in Truxton, NY.
Some of the things I learned. Many of the looms she finds have been with the families for generations. Most of the families want to just get rid of them. I learned that warping a loom of such a size can take 4-5 days. You can warp a loom with enough thread to last 100 days or more.
I told her about my project to make my family tartan. She was delighted to hear about it. She said she would be happy to teach me how to use our makerspace table-top loom.