Have table loom, will travel

Guidelines for preparing vintage table looms for travel

Most table looms–especially the vintage variety–are portable, but portability is not their strong suit. And even though the loom may be relatively easy to transport, once a warp is on the loom, concerns focus on keeping the warp intact during transit.

Plan ahead to simplify the process and prepare these table looms–and the warps–for the rigors of travel.

Secure reed in beater


Consider adding a metal handle to one side of the castle to make it easier way to pick it up, but three primary loom parts need protection: The reed, the warp, and the beater.

  • To secure the reed in the middle of the beater and protect the warp, use a strip of soft knit fabric.
  • Strips of knit fabric that serve as headers, any fabric, rope or even a bungee would work. Fold the fabric in half around one side of the beater and twist the fabric several times on each side of the reed before securing it on the other side.
Stabilize warp on back beam


  • Use the soft knit fabric to keep the warp from moving on the back beam–and on the front beam if there is nothing woven to stabilize it. 
  • With some sewing skills, it’s simple to make  a cover to fit the loom, but the underside is still open. Stuff some soft plastic dry cleaner bags around the vulnerable beams.
  • No cover? Some weavers wrap the loom in moving blankets or a soft plastic sheet over the front and back beams to protect the warp during travel.



Secure beater to castle
  • Consider using two small or one medium size bungee to secure the beater against the castle. (See the bright yellow bungee visible in the photo below left.)

If you have a stand, bring it. Also bring a stool if that puts you at the right working height. And don’t forget a dolly or small utility cart to move it from the car to the workshop location, where it will stay until it’s time to go home.

Loom covered and ready to go

*This was originally posted prior to the MAFA 2017 conference, but has been edited for any weaver traveling with a vintage table loom.