Friday, September 25, 2009

Kessenich loom re-warped and in use again

Since I'm still at the home studio for a couple more days, I'm taking care of several things.  First, I warped a frame loom for the Silvia Heyden workshop I'll be taking at the first of November.  Then I decided that since I finished the rag rugs and emptied the loom I would re-warp with linen rug warp in a three shaft point threading.  I'm at last going to experiment with combining the weft-faced loom controlled boundweave commonly called krokbragd along with areas of tapestry.

 Here's a small krokbragd sample I wove a few years ago.

The width on the loom is 15.5" and there's enough warp for 36" to be woven.  The sett is 6 epi.

I've wanted to try this for several years and have encouraged others who've I've taught (and who also do boundweaving) to see what they could do with it.  I haven't seen results from them nor have I done anything with the idea yet so thought the time was right to go for it.

I'm sure this isn't a unique idea but it seems to be not frequently done--or at least not widely published.  Because I can weave with both techniques I want to see how it might be combined in a meaningful way.  I'm drawing inspiration for color from the just-beginning-to-change dogwood leaves on the trees outside my house.  The dogwoods always have such interesting greens, reds, red-oranges, red-violets as fall begins.  I'm using both Spelsau and Vevgarn (50/50 wool & Spelsau) for weft, three fold in the krokbragd areas.  I'll probably use two fold for the tapestry section.

For this first piece I'll weave a frame of the krokbragd and then weave the tapestry into a central area.  I'll show progress as it moves along.


  1. What a wonderful idea to combine those elements!!! I love the changing dogwoods as well - and look forward to see what develops on your loom. Now you've got me thinking....

  2. I'm with Jennifer on this. Great idea and I'm excited to see it progress. Beautiful start! I do have one question, mostly about your loom. How does it do holding the high rug tension? I mean you use it obviously for rug weaving but are you satisfied with it's performance over all. I've heard great things about Kessenich looms.

  3. Theresa,
    This Kessenich is the third one I've owned; still have a wider one, as well as this smaller one. An earlier one from the 1980s I sold when I began to do tapestry and moved out all my floor looms. When I realized, several years later, that I'd want to have at least one floor loom around for my "hobby" weaving I was fortunate to come across this little guy from a friend who wanted to sell it. The larger one joined the family a few years later--also as a previously owned loom.
    The loom is very sturdy. It has a heavy beater so is good for weft-faced work. I've also woven balanced fabric on it with no problem. The brake and cloth beam take up are very simple ratchet & pawl. The only thing I find hard to use about the loom is the tie-up; the hooks that are with the loom are difficult to change... at least for me. On the larger loom I've changed to Texsov treadle cords and that works fine; just haven't gotten around to doing it on this loom yet.

    So, yes, I'm quite satisfied with this loom for the way I use it. I did have a break of an internal cord that is part of the shaft system on the small loom a few years back but the current owner of Kessenich helped me through that problem.

  4. Thank you Tommye! That was very helpful and complete. Kessenich looms are far and few between here on the left coast, but if I ever do see one available it is something I think I'll have to take a peek at. I have a huge loom set up for just rugs and while she's a beauty, she's very tall and not the easiest loom for me to work on with the 40" breast beam height.

  5. I was hoping to ask you about some technical aspects of your loom. I have a kessenich loom from the 50's and I am trying to find out information on fixing it a bit. I am not sure if my email is displayed for you when I comment - hope so. Thank you.

  6. I wanted to ask you about your looms, I have a kessenich loom and I am having some maintenance issues with it. I cant find much information out there on how to repair it myself. Have you ever changed the cords that move the harnesses? Could you email me if you can give me any advice? Thank you.

    1. I no longer have either of the Kessenich looms. My best advice is ti contact the loom company with your questions. They were very helpful when I had to be in touch about a broken cord controlling a shaft. Good luck with your loom.

  7. I just added a 1960's Kessinich Loom to my family of looms. On the east coast, was not familiar with the name. Bruce, owner of Kessinich, was extremely helpful in telling me how to maintain, oil and change cords (if and when necessary). Cleaned and oiled the rollers and it works beautifully. Easy to drop the front for threading. Very happy with this orphan that I took in to my collection~