Taking off from where I left off yesterday……
The Maxwell Loom
Here’s Christina again – “The Maxwell loom was custom built after World War 2 by George Maxwell for the Swiss born textile designer Marianne Straub OBE who designed fabrics for London Transport and also British European Airways.
The Maxwell loom was a bit of a restoration project for me and Allan and needed a fair bit of repair work when we bought it. We loved restoring it and bringing this part of British textile history back to life and along the way we added a few more refinements.
It was also fitted with a custom built sectional warp beam and has a full weaving width of 55″. We also added a treadle gate with locks and a beater lock. Also extra large fabric protector to stop rug shuttles from falling off the front and I added several steel counterweights to the tie up system which are needed for this particular type of rug weaving. The beater also has a steel weight fitted to it. I also use the spare warp beam to seperately tighten the warp threads that weave the pattern. It was originally built as a 16 shaft and 16 treadle loom, but the addition of the Shaft Switching Device gives it the equivalent horsepower of 96 shafts. (the Varpa loom has the equivalent design potential of 108 shafts.)”
And this is my Unicorn Rug!
Christina had kindly left the tip of the unicorn’s horn for me to complete so, with her expert and careful instruction, I finished it. The magic was complete!
And then we had fabulous chocolate cake and coffee.
Here are some of Elizabeth’s rugs that you can find for sale on her Etsy page.
Russian Folk Art floor rug
175 cm x 100 cm
Blossom floor rug
142 cm x 100 cm
Art Deco Floor Rug
143 cm x 97 cm
If you enjoyed this little crash course into rug weaving, Christina is available all year round to teach one-to-one, tailored to the individual'(s) interests and times to suit.
As there are 2 looms, Christina can teach 2 people (bring a friend!) and refreshments are provided. Courses can run from just a day to even a block of a few days spread over time to allow somebody to finish a rug.
Contact Christina Smith on 01595 810357 or via Shetland Handweavers Facebook page.
I can highly recommend.