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Event wrap-up and new toy

F^n was this past weekend. This was the eighth year for this SCA fiber arts symposium, and the first time under new management. All went very well, though there were some glitches – only to be expected when switching event staff. (It started out as FFF – Fiber, Fabric and Fighting – and has added some indeterminate number of additional Fs over the years: Fishing, Fencing, Feasting… so now it’s F^n).

The classes were on a diverse range of topics and were well-attended. In fact, this was by far the largest group we’ve ever had (being a Royal Progress event helped considerably). The event certainly made money, making it more likely that it will be able to continue as long as I can find enough help.

I taught my new tablet weaving class for the first time. It went okay, but would have been considerably improved if I had had time to set up a sample warp for each student beforehand. I knew that would be a problem, but there was nothing to be done. The block patterning itself worked brilliantly. Both complete novices were weaving what were actually very complicated patterns by the end of the hour-long class.

Later in the day an evil, evil man sidled up to me. “I have this loom,” he whispered in my ear. “It’s a Leclerc 16-harness table loom.”

I looked at him. And I asked how much.

After I was able to speak again I wrote him a check.

Behold the new toy!

Leclerc loom

It is a 16-harness loom, with the harnesses in sets of 4 removable cartridges. Everything works very well – I twiddled all the levers before buying. I promptly threw a warp on it, made up of whatever random bits I happened to have with me, and started weaving. I only warped up the first eight harnesses, as there were few or no heddles on the higher ones. And really, eight was enough to start playing with.

Leclerc loom

Yesterday I spent some time poking around for eight-harness patterns, and had a grand time weaving a few repeats of several of them.

Leclerc loom

Pretty, no? And such fun!

I did some poking around last night, trying to find out more about this loom. It looks like the Meco and the Jano, except that it’s only about 15 inches wide, and definitely not the 22 listed for Meco or 20 for Jano. It isn’t collapsible either, ruling the Meco and several other table looms, though it otherwise looks very much like it. The Jano isn’t expandable, coming only in a 4-harness model.

The institutional green appears to be the original color, suggesting that this might be a Nilus Leclerc instructional model rather than a retail model, but I can’t find anything out about those, or if Leclerc even made school looms. Anyone know where to find better information?

7 Comments on “Event wrap-up and new toy”

  1. #1 Vince
    on Nov 22nd, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I’m glad you like your new toy. Of course, I understand none of the technical jargon that accompanies your joy, but it’s all good. I appreciate your happiness, and it’s obvious you can make some cool things with the device. I hope the speechlessness prior to writing the check was because you couldn’t believe how great a deal it was, as opposed to how large the list of other toys you’ll have to forgo is in order to afford it.

  2. #2 Phiala
    on Nov 22nd, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    It was an exceedingly good deal – I paid a very small fraction of the cost of an equivalent loom purchased new.

  3. #3 Laura
    on Nov 23rd, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Ooh, covet. :) Cool that it’s a mystery loom, too.

    Heretical suggestion (I’ve probably spent too long at work) but have you considered just contacting Leclerc directly?

    I had to take a quick look myself, of course. On the Leclerc Looms history page there’s a similar looking 4-harness from the mid-30s. Probably one of the ones that aren’t quite your loom.

    And then I found this: Ooh, diagrams. Diagrams not related to electronics.

    And now I really must go to bed. The cat is reminding me. Enjoy your new toy! Er. Tool.

  4. #4 Sonya
    on Nov 24th, 2010 at 2:47 am

    Ooh pretty! You’re giving me ideas. (I was already starting to think about trying to build a small sampling loom, but I hadn’t intended for it to have 16 shafts. Possibly some sort of setup that made it plausible to have an indeterminate number of heddle rods though…)

    I’m sure you’ll have plenty of fun with your new toy!

  5. #5 Mom
    on Nov 24th, 2010 at 7:30 am

    looks like a fun project for the holiday – lots of love,

  6. #6 Phiala
    on Dec 1st, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Sonya, that’s just what I’d been thinking too, but I hadn’t gotten around to it before this appeared. It would be straightforward enough to use any number of heddle rods and string heddles, though tedious to set up.

  7. #7 alwen
    on Dec 1st, 2010 at 7:35 pm


    The extremely jealous, I now haz it.

    What a prize.