In use at the Virginia Explore Park, Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway at Roanoke, Virginia, May through October

At Left:  Wide view of right side of loom. The counterbalanced shedding system consists of a single roller, two shafts with string heddles, and two treadles.

At Right: Detailed view of Rocker. Note pegs in the base of loom. Corresponding holes in rocker keeps it in place while in motion.

This loom was one of two identical looms found in the attic of an old barn in Floyd County,VA, in the late 1960s. Reported to have built in the late 1700s, it came to light in 1996, when the owner advertised it via the weaver's network as a "200 year-old loom." The loom had been totally reconditioned and stained, which decreased its value as an antique and made its age impossible to gauge.

 An antique textile tool collector, under the erroneous impression that a standing beater automatically dated a loom as having been built no earlier that the late 1800s, contacted the loom owner and informed him the loom could not possibly be more than 100 years old.  The owner then arranged to donate the loom to the Virginia Explore Park.  

Later, a major loom authority reviewing the material for this thesis, saw the photographs and remarked that finding two looms together, along with the weaving accessories stored with them (including the densely knitted heddles and tentering frame shown below), may be an indication that the looms had originally built for, or by, a professional weaver.  

Detailed view of loom's original heddles, densely knitted. An indication that the loom could accommodate many times the amount of warp than would be used by the home weaver.  One half of tentering frame stored with loom. Tentering frames were frequently used by professional weavers, in the blocking and finishing of fine fabric, especially woolens. 

The Virginia Explore Park is a large, living history museum park, located just off the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway, near Roanoke, Virginia. Old-time skills are demonstrated throughout the park during the spring, summer and fall.

Link to Virginia Explore Park website:

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