Thursday, August 5, 2010

Getting Started

I bought a Newcomb Loom Company Weaver's Delight loom on August 1st, 2010, from the estate of a weaver who died in 2006. Her daughter was also a weaver at one time, so she is really familiar with looms. She and her husband were able to show us how the parts of this thing go together - which is not simple to figure out! Here it is assembled. In the background you can see 2 spool racks and the cylinder filling machine & cylinders that came with it:

It's a 4-shaft "Automatic" loom. There are no treadles. The shafts are operated by a cam system, and the forward motion of the beater causes the shafts to move into position for the next pick. Pushing the beater back toward the shafts then causes the fly shuttle to be thrown across the shuttle race. So, automatic yes, but automation circa 1890's, when this loom was first patented. Very steampunk!

This loom is number 4703. These were all numbered and they manufactured something around 8000 of them.

Leslie Johnson of Riverside Loomworks, who now sell parts for Newcomb looms (which went out of business in the 80's), tells me this loom shipped from the Newcomb factory on November 26, 1928. It's in remarkable shape for a loom this old. The paint details and even decals are mostly intact:

Here is a view from the side, showing the warp & cloth braking systems (hard to see, I'll go into more detail in a future post):

Here is a back view, showing the approximately one-yard sectional beam:

This blog is a place for me to keep photos, links, helpful advice I've received, and things I've figured out, all in one place.

I hope it's useful to others as well.



  1. I've thoroughly enjoyed the back and forth discussion about this loom on rugtalk. I have a Union 36 that I love. I'm fascinated by the historical aspect of weaving and luckily I bought this loom from the widow of the man who owned it.He was blind and was very talented in many areas besides weaving rag rugs. I feel so much more connected to my loom because of that. I would love to see a Weavers Delight in action--have you considered posting a video? Keep posting! Cheryl on Lake Erie

  2. I subscribe to Rugtalk but have not woven rugs....yet. I could not imagine the loom you were discussing! So glad you have put this out there. I look forward to following you and know I will be learning alot!

  3. Laura - it is beautiful!! Hooray for you!

  4. Tres cool! I can see why you lusted after it, and I'm not even a weaver! Cheers, Sarah

  5. It is a thing of practical beauty. Is this photo of it set up in your studio? If so, it looks as though you found space for it. Glad you decided to get it, your passion for it shows.

  6. Laura, I don't speak loomish but I have a friend who does and I forwarded her a link to your blog. The history of this loom is amazing; the research you did makes it so personal. I am delighted in your delight :)


  7. Cheryl, yes I do plan to post a video once it's running!

  8. Hi, I just bought a Weaver's Delight loom like yours. I can't figure out where the leather straps go, and I want to make sure I have things put together correctly. I loved the detailed photos, they have helped me out alot! Can you send a pic on how the leather straps go? Thanks.

    1. i bought my weavers delight from garland tickle in omaha,nebraska in 1989. his wife and garland spent several days helping me set up the loom and weaving my first rug out of denim. they were wonderful people. i've lost count on how many rugs i've made , i love it.rugs make great gifts .

  9. I also have a Newcomb Weavers Delight, Flying Shuttle loom. I have made many rugs on it. My leather straps finally wore out, and I used long leather shoe strings. Even macramé cord works for this, if it is tightly woven. You will have to adjust it as you weave, until it is as tight as you need it. I am in the process, and cleaning up my loom, due to flood water. It did survive,and I don't think it will take much to clean up. These looms make beautiful rugs. It is a loom that you stand in front of, instead of sitting down. Janet Meany is a great person to talk to or contact about your loom. I have talked to her and she is very nice. I have to order warp yet, but did order new heddles for my loom, since mine have never been changed. I purchased my loom from an older lady, in a rural town, and she had it all in parts. All the parts were there, and my husband put it all together from the pictures in the manual. These are nice old looms. You will enjoy it. Mine, looks just like yours.

  10. I also have this loom. Actually I have two . one works great....the other is still in need of some TLC.
    The number on mine is 8921.... The one that works....not sure about the other. Will look when I get a chance.
    I weave at our local history museum. We have a flying shuttle loom there 10 others. Including 2 union looms....a late 1700 barn frame loom...a 10 year old barn loom made by a weaver that was86 yrs. old, from plans from the Smithsonian.
    I love to weave and have 3 looms of my own. Newcomb loom, a Herald loom, and a table loom.
    This is a great website. Thanx for sharing all the pics and info.

  11. I have a WD too! Trying to get her cleaned up now. I almost gasped when I saw the can packer thingy (red horse looking object in your photo!) I have that EXACT same one.... with all the parts too! Can you please tell me how to use this device? Did this come with the loom originally sold by Newcomb? My BF remarked it looked as if it was hand-cobbled together by someone in need of...well..whatever it does. I think someone mentioned it's for preparing the rags used as weft for the rag rugs? Any info greatly appreciated! :-3