Ode to a Loom

My husband, the chef/cook in this house, usually gets all the press on this blog. Mostly because he gardens, he cooks, he cooks what he gardens, he hits the Farmer’s Market regularly and then has more great ingredients to cook up and serve to me, his adoring fan. It makes for great words and pictures. I usually cook when he is too sick or if I find a recipe I really want to try but he isn’t so keen on, mostly I have other creative outlets.

My medium is often thread and yarn. For my masters degree I specialized in fiber. My graduate show in 1978 featured eight linen inlay tapestries. I don’t get to my loom like I used to, mainly because I dismantled it and put it in storage about 20 years ago, but it was my pride and joy. I purchased it in 1974 from an ad in the classifieds when we lived in Valparaiso, Indiana. It was a Studio four-harness, 60 inch floor art loom built by the Newcomb Loom Co. in Davenport, Iowa. I don’t remember what I paid for it back then, but at the time I was interested in getting information about threading and maintenance so I wrote a letter to the Newcomb Loom Company.

For $2.50 (plus 50 cents postage and handling), I got a Studio Instruction Book (if you wish to print a copy click here for a 26 page pdf which includes the booklet, an assembly page and info on warping) and a note, typed on a carbon invoice, that said if I sent them the number of my loom (found on the top of the front left post), they could help me in the future with parts and problems. I mailed them the number and in a week (no email back then) I received a reply that said, ” Your loom was made in December 1948 and sold for $75.00 new. A new one today (1974) is $250.00 with the price due to go up. It went to a Mrs. ( they gave me her real name!) of Chesterton, Indiana. We have no record of any other owners.”

There is no way you would get information like this today with all of our privacy rules. Maybe the date of manufacture but never the name of the original owner. I was thrilled to get this information. It made the loom special in so many ways, one being that I was born in 1949 so the loom was not much older than I was. I have used the loom many times, but full time jobs, raising a child, and the need for more room in my house made having and using a large loom, a luxury. Now that I am retired and my son is grown, I think the old loom might be resurrected one day soon. Maybe I’ll dust off my Ashford spinning wheel too.

For now, needles and hooks and sticks have been a good substitute for my loom. What have I been doing with them? Well I think I will save that for the next post since I didn’t know when I started this that it would be so loom oriented. Finding the old papers and instruction booklet was a fun trip down memory lane.

106 thoughts on “Ode to a Loom

  1. Thank you for this, I had to dismantle the loom and put it back together to move it out of its first home. Do you still have the instructions to assemble? Why are there 4 strings to one side of the loom on the bottom? Could never figure that out.

    • Hi, got your message(s). Go back into the post . Below the booklet picture you will note in italics it says if you want a pdf of booklet and assembly page… click here. That should take you to the whole booklet and the page you are interested in. You don’t have to print the whole thing. I believe the assembly page is first. I think it even mentions those 4 cords.One of my readers put this together and I just linked it. Good Luck.

  2. Just bought my first loom….a Newcomb Studio from a fourth generation rag rug weaver!
    So excited…can’t wait to start. Found your posting. Will you please send me your .pdf? I could sure use it in the re-assembly after shipment…
    Thanks! Vickie

  3. Hello, I have a Newcomb studio loom I purchased 20 years ago, but have never gotten up and weaving, would you please be so kind as to send me the assembly sheet and if possible the booklet? I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

  4. Loved to hear of other Studio Art owners. I have one that was built in 1973. It is assembled, but I am having difficulty obtaining a good shed. Would you pleas send the assembly instruction page as I may have assembled something incorrectly, and any suggestions you may have for a solution to my “shed” issue?
    Thank you,

  5. Could you please e-mail me your assembly page pdf? I have a Studio loom (currently in pieces) and would like to reassemble it. I am lucky to have the manual but it’s not a lot of help with assembly. Thank you!

  6. Hi, I just got a new Newcomb Studio Loom and I’m trying to put it together. Could you please send me the manual so I can assemble it? Thank you! πŸ™‚

  7. Hello, I recently obtained a Sears and Roebuck Fairloom which I understand it to be a knock off of the Newcomb Studio Loom. I have it almost put back together but having a few issues with and a couple of minor missing parts. It would be so helpful if I had a manual to finish restoring it. Could you help with this? Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you. Caril

  8. This is just quite amazing…..I took, have a Newcomb Studio Loom that I need to part with as I am moving to Albania with the Peace Corps in March. So I am just sitting down on this rainy Sunday afternoon to figure out how to put it out there for sale. And then I came across this blog and it almost made me cry (and not want to part with the loom) for reading all the wonderful stories here in the comments sections. As I have been out of the weaving world for quite some time, it was wonderful to know that it is being kept alive and vital by all these amazing people. And my story (and probably age) sort of parallel jheuer…..I was born in 1953, and my Newcomb loom was built in that same year. I thought that was a good omen. Thanks to all of you for this. I hope I can find a happy home for this loom…..

  9. jheuer, You are providing a wonderful help for Newcomb Looms users!

    The Loom Manual Library (address below) has manuals for a number of older looms. These are available in printed form and contain histories. diagrams etc. There is a rag rug newsletter called The Weaver’s Friend 2. (Carol Ann Kapheim ) Also, Riverside Loomworks has parts for Newcomb Looms. Write to Leslie You can register your Newcomb Loom in the Newcomb Looms Registry
    Janet Meany
    Loom Manual Library, 5672 North Shore Drive, Duluth, MN 55804

    • How interesting. When I originally wrote that post I could not imagine the amount of interest. Nice to know of his source for manuals as I get some requests from people with entirely different looms than mine.

      • Jean.
        I’m so glad that you are sharing the Loom information, especially the Studio Art Loom by Newcomb. I wondered it you would share the sheet which explains how to put the loom together with me! I have the manual. I’m glad you have that. There certainly is an interest in that loom lately!
        All best wishes,
        Janet Meany
        Loom Manual Library
        5672 North Shore Drive
        Duluth, MN55804

      • Go back into the ‘Ode to a Loom” post. Below the booklet picture you will note in italics it says if you want a pdf of booklet and assembly page… click here. That should take you to the whole manual and the assembly page, which comes up first. Hope that helps. Good luck.

  10. Hi, I am about to receive a disassemble Newcomb Studio Loom, conterbalance, 4 harness, 6 treadel, 54″ wide but have no idea how to assemble it. Does someone have the manual/instructions? I sure would appreciate it. Thanks\ you!

  11. Hello-
    Thank you for this post. I inherited a Studio Art Loom, along with all the trimmings, recently. Would it be possible for you to email the instruction booklet and assembly sheet? johnwaynes_teeth@yahoo.com Thank you very much for your time!

  12. Hi
    I was just gifted a Newcomb Studio loom. It had been diassembled and stored for years. I believe that I have all the parts but it would be great to get the manual. If you could send a copy to loriconzatti@yahoo.com, that would be really grand.

  13. Just sold my mother’s Newcomb 4 harness loom. We had to disassemble it, and new buyer is having problems. Could you send your assembly sheet or possible 23 page booklet. I would be happy to reimburse you.

    • My instructions are for a Newcomb Studio Art Loom. Don’t know if that is the same as what you sold. I’d be happy to send you the assembly instruction sheet I received from Newcomb ages ago. Then if you still think you need the booklet, I can also email that . I have it in pdf form. Need email address.

  14. Hi there –
    I was delighted to find your site as I was just gifted a Newcomb Studio Loom – and it is in pieces. I am going to clean it and then we will assemble it. If you could share the manual, that would be wonderful. I am new to weaving and not familiar with this type of loom so any other info – weaving tips, etc, would be great! I am in Ballard in Seattle.


  15. I just picked up a studio art loom, disassembled, at an auction. I am dying to see if I have all the parts and see how to assemble it.

  16. I just received a newcomb Studio Loom from my niece. It was her new husbands mother’s loom. SHe is now 92 years old and has not weaved in 10+years. She con no longer hold conversations and she has dementia. I would really like to have a copy of the manual so I can figure out what pices and parts that might be missing from the loom. I would be forever grateful for any aid that you can give

  17. Hello! I’m so excited I found your blog!! I just purchased a Newcomb Studio Loom and I would really appreciate receiving the manual. PDF is fine to email and let me know reimbursement. I’m afraid we’ll have to disassemble the loom to get it home and can use any helpful advice. This is what I know about the loom: It has DEC 1980 A.L. Schermerhorn burned into it. STUDIO is stenciled on one side and it’s stamped Y5810. I’m looking forward to bringing it home. It came without a manual so any help would be greatly appreciated! Renee

  18. I have a Newcomb Studio Art Loom. It is fully assembled in my house. Because of serious illness, I have been unable to use it for many years. But last winter, I was so incredibly blessed that a total stranger donated one of his kidneys and saved my life!!! My recovery is almost complete, and I am looking forward to doing all the things that I used to do, I remember how to adjust by using the handle on the sectional beam. But I’ve forgotten how to make smaller adjustments on the tightness of the warp. The warp was still on the loom but is too loose to weave. I adjusted with the handle on the beam. It tightened it. But it now needs to be about 2″ more tight. What do I do? Thanks. Pam Magadance

    • It has been some time since I have warped a loom but I’ve dredged forth some ideas that may help. I’m sure from just sitting stretched and suffering humidity and dryness the warp has naturally lost its original tension. Does it look like the person who warped the loom put in leash sticks as they wound it on? These would help increase the circumference of the beam and help tighten the threads. I remember if we didn’t have enough sticks we would use folded lengths of paper, like a brown butcher paper, and put those between the layers of thread as we wound it. Dowls will work well too but they must be as long as the entire width. Doing this will mean you have to loosen your warp and wind it back. Be very careful, tangling and a mess may ensue. I hope this is helpful.

  19. I’m so glad to have found your site! I’m getting a Newcomb Studio loom and have combed the internet trying to find information on them. May I please have a copy of the manual you have too? Thanks in advance! Linda Ihle

      • I’ve been looking for ages for the manual/assembly documentation on the Newcomb loom as well. I know you’re not a reference library, as you say, but could I please get a copy (scanned/email or hard copy) of what you have? I will be happy, of course, to pay for the copying, mailing/posting if you like. My loom belonged to my wife’s grandparents and we’ll be getting it soon with no access to instructions or hands-on assistance. We’re most anxious to learn and carry on the tradition!

      • I wasn’t trying to be snotty but you asked me for a t915 fairloom and the blog post was about a Newcomb Studio Art loom. My question is do you just need assembly instructions or the whole booklet ( about 23 pages)? The whole booklet has weaving instructions but they are a bit archaic, but weaving is also archiac. Anyway I can email the pages as a PDF or jpg.

  20. Hi —
    I hate to admit it, but my Newcomb Studio loom has been stored in my garage (unassembled) for 20 some years. Now someone wants to purchase it and my memory needs refreshing in regards to assembling it. Could you please send me assembly instructions by email, pdf format would be fine – thanks ever so much! The loom number is X2290.

  21. Greetings from the La Crosse area. I saw your information about the Studio Loom. I have recently rescued a barn find and although it seems intact, it is my first Jack-type loom and I am at a loss as far as the treadle and harness tie up. I hate to fall on the pile of people who have asked for a copy of your manual…but…could I get a PDF copy of it? Thanks so much. Kristy

    • Rather than send the whole manual I will find just the pages that refer to treadle and harness tie-up and hope it will apply to your specific loom.

  22. I just inherited what I believe to be a Studio Loom from my grandmother. Sadly she never showed anyone else how to use it. I am now daunted by the task of having to disassemble, move it into my house, and reassemble. I have no idea what i am going to do. Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Also what kind of thread should i be looking for? Does anyone have any websites they recommend to order it from? I am in dire need of loom education!
    Jamie Laurie

  23. Hi! I have also aquired a Newcomb Studio Loom and was wondering if I could get a copy of the manual also. The PDF should work for me also. Where do I find the number of my loom at? I can’t seem to find it. I would appreciate any help what so ever. Thank you so much!!

    • When I get a chance I will send it out. There are about 23 pages and pdf’s are large so I will be attaching one page per email. The information I received from Newcomb, many years ago, was that the number on a Studio loom was on the top of the left front post. It’s pressed into the wood and fairly large so you should see it if it is there.

  24. Just received a fairloom that Sears sold and made by Newcomb. It is taken apart so would really like a copy of the manual if possible. Have not had a loom before so it would really help. My daughter received it as a donation for a 4H member and she is very interested in it as she enjoys spinning and is learning crocheting, Thank you Karen Kottwitz Email would be fine.

  25. I am a lucky owner of a Studio Art loom that my husband found for free on Craigs List. It was taken apart when given away and I think I have it back together correctly. Would it be possible to receive a copy of the pdf others on this list refer to? Thanks!!!! Laurie

  26. Hi, is it possible for you to email me pdfs of your instruction book? I’m thinking about buying a Newcomb studio loom and am trying to gather as much information as possible. It would be greatly appreciated!


  27. Dear Jlheuer…I have also just aquired a Newcomb Studio loom and would love a copy of the manual if you are so inclined to send them. I think pdf should work. Thank you so much.

    • I’ll test out a few pages in pdf soon and if you can open, I’ll send it all. I’m surprised how many Newcomb’s are out there and how few manuals still exist. I guess I was lucky that Newcomb was still in business when I acquired mine.

      • Thank you Jean. I am sure pdf is fine. I just found out that my “Studio” loom was in fact the Studio loom built for Sears. They called it the Fairloom. The serial number on mine starts with 4T and that identifies it as one built for Sears. I am told that all the records for the Fairloom were lost when Newcomb when bankrupt in 1980. So I am grateful for the manual. I will let you know if the pdf comes thru.
        Whith kind reguards

  28. I have a Newcomb Studio Art loom. I bought it used in 1977 or 1978. I love it. I would LOVE to have a copy of the manual. Would you please send it?

  29. Another Newcomb Studio owner. Mine sat outside in a carport between (loving) owners and is now just about restored. Had to replace all the iron. Learned it came off the line in 1959, which makes it my age exactly… Sold for $100 when it was new, and that would just about put a 50 yard warp on it today.

    You can trace your loom’s history through the Historic Looms of America society. $10 to register your loom (and get its history in return), $8 (I think) to get a list of people in your area who own the same loom.

    Theresa L. Trebon
    Continuum History and Research
    Historic Looms of America
    10619 Sterling Road
    Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284


    Riverside looms sells parts for Newcomb looms. Email Leslie Johnson at Leslie Johnson [rivloom@sbcglobal.net] for a parts and price list.

    Janet Meany’s Rag Rug Handbook (unfortunately OOP) has a picture of the Newcomb Studio in the very front. She says it was Newcomb’s “fancy” loom, for weavers who wanted to make fancier rugs than the two-harness looms would allow, and spend more time per rug (else you’d get the Weaver’s Delight with the flying shuttle).

    • I love all the responses I’ve gotten from Newcomb owners. Thanks for the parts link, I hope the other gal who contacted me reads this. I was fortunate that my loom was in near pristine shape when I purchased it from the previous owner.

  30. Hi,

    I was lucky enough to receive a Newcomb Studio Loom for my birthday. Would you be willing to share that manual with me too? It has been slightly disassembled and I want to make sure I get it all back together properly.

    Thanks in advance for your time,

  31. I did and thank you so much! I was so swamped with work that this is the first chance I have had to respond. I’m very excited to get started.

  32. Hello,

    I’ve recently acquired a Newcomb Studio Loom. I found this blog by searching for anything on Newcomb Studio looms via Google. Unfortunately, the manual for mine has been lost in multiple moves before the loom came to me. I am wondering if you still have the manual for yours, and if you would be at all willing to share setup instructions from it as mine is dismantled and I’m not at all sure where to start!

    Thanks in advance for any help/advice/anything,

    Kat Eldred

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