Weaver’s shop for VBS

I’m working in the Weaver’s “Shop” for Galilee-By-the-Sea Marketplace Vacation Bible School for the downtown churches in Huntington.  There wasn’t a big loom already made up from 3 years ago, so I did some research and I’m making one (it is almost done, pictures, etc later).

The instructions for the VBS showed a (boring) frame loom.  I don’t really weave, but one of the reasons I never got into it as a kid or even when I had tried it at museums and stuff is that I HATE weaving when you have to lift-every-other-thread!  I don’t think that kids will really “buy” that people really made all of their clothes and fabric goods this way, so I wanted to make the loom more realistic.  With a device to make TWO sheds for weaving “automatically”, so they don’t have to pick up individual strings as they go in the warp.


I had made a tiny backstrap loom to show myself how a heddle worked, from this site:


and I used several webpages about Warp-Weighted Looms

How to Build and Use a Warp Weighted Loom

Warping and weaving on a warp-weighted loom

Warp Weighted Loom

Build a Warp Weighted Loom


especially since those seem to be period-correct for Jesus’ life, as well as for Vikings, which is what I do for SCA.

Life in Biblical Israel – Google Books Result

Studies in Ancient Technology – Google Books Result

The Book of Looms: A History of the Handloom from Ancient Times to … – Google Books Result

Regia Anglorum – Anglo-Saxon and Viking Crafts – Textiles

BBC – North Yorkshire – History – Watch a Viking loom in action!


I wanted a rigid heddle loom versus a string heddle, because in the Viking BBC video they had to “beat” the warp a lot with the string heddles, and I thought the slot-and-eye heddle would be easier for the children.


One Response to “Weaver’s shop for VBS”

  1. Audrey M. DeNeui Says:

    Wow! I like your approach to the “Biblical weaving” thing. And you’re right, no self-respecting housewife of the time would spend ages lifting individual warp strings or her entire family would be naked if she did.
    I use a warp weighted loom for our church’s Journey to Bethlehem. I’m having no end of trouble with the string heddles (which is why I was net surfing.). When I use cotton ones, they tend to stretch. I can’t seem to make them all the same size and I was thinking of getting texsolvs of some sort (not period, but if they’d have made a mint if they HAD existed back then). I never thought of making/using a rigid heddle (mainly because the weaving width is 36 inches and it would be too awkward for me.).
    I still think I may get some texsolvs, though. Our production is at night (in December) and most visitors usually don’t know a spindle from a loom, so maybe one during the whole week will recognize what we are using for heddles. 🙂

    I enjoyed reading your article!

    Audrey M. DeNeui

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