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The manual wooden loom

Collezione tessile di “Tela Umbra”

The structure of this manual loom, operated by a counterbalanced pedal, is a traditional one, popular in many Italian and European areas since the year 1000.

This model is made from pine wood, and, up to 9 pedals and 16 shafts can be fitted to it, or rather the elements whose function is that of raising specific groups of warp thread to form the mouth into which the shuttle with the thread is passed into. The weave workers operate the pedals with both feet, which – connected with cord shafts – make the warp thread move up and down and gradually unroll from the rear beam and that – interweaving with the weft, passed with the boat shuttle by hand and placed by the reed inserted in the beater case – form the fabric. The number of the pedals and shafts used depends on the complexity of the ground weave and of the patterns, but the technical process is exactly the same as the process on looms of smaller or larger dimensions. Often a manual loom with a light between 90 and 120cm was a feature of the big rural houses, at times found in a room called “the weaving room”, dedicated to the weavers.