Barbara IV Loom


  These are large, tall solid cherry looms, made by Thought Products, a company based in Somerset, PA that went out of business around 1979.  The looms' claim to fame is that they are:

a) gorgeous and

b) mechanically ingenious--

they can be used in jack, counterbalance, countermarch, and vertical (yes, vertical) tapestry modes.  I *think* the different between a Barbara IV and a Barbara V is that the V has a two-harness tapestry attachment, but I'm not 100% sure of this.  The looms were offered with different options, so not all looms have all the various bits and pieces.  Most are 8H or 12H.

  The looms were sold in kit (assemble yourself) form, so they can be disassembled and moved quite readily--IF you have a large enough vehicle--but are probably too large to be shipped economically (500+ pounds--the harness are frames with metal heddles, not sticks with string heddles) and two of the pieces are about 8' long.)  The pieces are stamped with letters for ease of assembly, but I think having the manual is an absolute must.


    I have the Barbara V. I've made a few Navajo twill type rugs on it. It's an x-frame type construction. Don't know if I'd want to do rugs as a steady diet but it is a wonderful loom. I have the maker's name if you need it.

Cynthia in Alton, IL

>X-Frame and the friction brake issue

The original owner of mine was a rug weaver; she fitted the cloth and warp beams with Glimakra ratchets.  The loom's frame is sturdy enough, and the beater certainly heavy enough for rugs, but the original friction brakes, which are are the flat-band variety, almost certainly won't hold rug-type tensions (and I doubt that switching to braided cable would do the trick, either).

The looms were sold in kit (assemble yourself) form...