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Tips for Storage

May 20th, 2021
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Once you begin to use your loom regularly, you’ll probably discover that you need various ways of storing your tools, and the bits and pieces you reach for each time you sit down to work.

Here are a few ways I keep my own weaving tools organized.

PVC is a Friend

For extra shuttles, pickup sticks, dowels and the like, I use PVC tubing from a hardware/plumbing store. It’s easily cut to your preferred length with a small hacksaw (or a small hardware store might do it for you). You’ll want a snug fitting end cap.

I use this plumbing accessory for the top of my tubes. The wing nut tightens and loosens the cap, and lets me get whatever I want out of the tube easily.

PVC is practically indestructible, which also makes this storage solution perfect for tossing into a bag for class, a guild meeting, or transporting your tools anywhere you’re taking your loom.

A Solution for Sword-like Shuttles

When I got my 32 inch/81 cm Kromski loom, I discovered that there was nowhere in the house where the reeds and shuttles could be stored safely, out of reach of feline (or other) harm. This was in the Before Times, so Mr. W and I went to one of those stores that sells random home decor at discount and poked around.

Mr. W, who has a marvelous instinct for these things, found a small, tall, tea table and turned it upside down. Then he stuffed an umbrella stand inside — and voila! There it was, a storage system for those tall accessories.

Plate Rack for Shuttle Storage

Storing shorter reeds was a challenge, too, once I had two smaller looms and various dents. I had a a growing collection of Little Looms, too, and needed a spot for them — and I wanted all of these things to be readily accessible.

I upended a metal dishrack — readily available in housewares departments — in a basket. This works a treat! The basket was necessary to keep everything in place, but it also (mostly) hides the not-so-pretty plate rack.

Spool Storage

I’m on the parsimonious side, but when I started rigid heddle weaving, Mr. W encouraged me to buy up every color I liked in large cotton spools. He wanted me to feel free to make mistakes, to play with color, and to experiment without worrying about running out of supplies. This turned out to be great advice, but following it meant both that I needed a place to store all those spools, and also, preferably, that I kept them where they were always visible to tempt and inspire me.

I found this crude spool rack, which fit perfectly in a narrow space between a bookcase and a window. (Crucially, no sunlight hits this particular spot.) The rack is in pretty rough shape, which I don’t mind at all, because it comes with a story — it’s from an old mill, and its raison d’etre was always its current purpose. The history of weaving mills is not a happy one, and my spool rack reminds me of how far (mostly) we’ve come in terms of recognizing how damaging labor practices once were (and sometimes still are). And I’m glad this bit of history is on my wall instead of in a tip somewhere.

This kind of rack is simple enough that those handy at home might be able to recreate something like it, or it might be possible to work up a similar peg board option, if you can’t easily scour antique shops, as in Covid times!

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