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World’s Only Folding Floor Loom
The custom-designed Rio Grande Style Folding Loom is hand-built by Dave Baber, Southwestern Wood Design.
“Molly Manzanares with Tierra Wools asked me to build a large floor loom,” recalls Baber. “I asked if anyone had made a large one that could be moved through a doorway. Standard designs have to be knocked down and disassembled to move. Everything has to be taken apart.”
Baber’s loom has a 40-in. weaving width and can hold more than 15 yds. of warp. Set up for weaving, it has a 57 in. width, a 52 1/2 in. depth and stands 76 in. tall. Unlike any other loom known on the market, it can be folded into a transport depth of only 33 1/2 in., narrow enough to slide through a standard doorway. Designing a foldable loom required a deeper understanding of weaving mechanics, if not weaving itself.
It took him a year to plan, engineer and design the folding loom. That included time building mock-up models to test out his plans. The transition is made possible by an overhead beater and a back that folds forward.
“Once I had a functional model, I started building it,” says Baber. “Most of it was made from Douglas fir. I made all the reels and other components myself, except for the cogwheels. A local metal fabricator used a laser cutter to hand cut cog wheels out of 3/8-in. steel.”
When he finished, it worked exactly as he hoped. “Molly couldn’t believe it,” says Baber.
The Rio Grande Folding Loom is priced at $2,788. While this was the most challenging loom he had built, it isn’t the only one. He builds several traditional designs from lap looms (they start at $25) to a smaller Rio Grande Loom ($2,335).
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Southwestern Wood Design, P.O. Box 1232, Chama, New Mexico 87520 (ph 575-910-0040; swwooddesign@icloud.com) or Tierra Wools, 2540 Hwy 64/84, Box 432, Chama, New Mexico 87520 (ph 575-756-1650; tierrawools@gmail.com; www.handweavers.com/shop).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #5