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The story behind our loom

The story behind our loom

This time last year, we launched our Contemporary Embroidery Kits which pretty much took off from the get-go, and have become our best-selling products since then. In June this year, we released our brand new Weaving kits, which have likewise been incredibly popular as weaving has remerged as the go-to trendy craft.  

Weaving was always something Stephanie and mum Mary had considered as a kit for Hawthorn Handmade, fitting nicely with the textile-based kits and still something that would be accessible for beginners and expert stitchers alike. Weaving has been a popular craft ever since there has been fabric to manipulate, with some records of weaving dating back to the Palaeolithic era where plaited basketry was thought to have originated.

Weaving soared in popularity in the late 70’s and early 80’s as several weaving kits were available, such as the Spear’s Weaving Loom which Mary used to create woven wall hangings. Mary is also the designer behind each of the Hawthorn Handmade Crochet Kits.

The idea of buying an already-existing loom to sell had been a possibility, but none in existence would fit into a kit form, so it was decided Stephanie and Mary would design their own. To create a ‘weaving kit’, Stephanie thought the Hawthorn Handmade version of a loom should be a flat piece of board which could then pop-up into a loom.

The idea began to form properly while at a trade show in February, when during a rare quiet spell the early sketches of our Pop-Up Loom emerged on the back of an old order form.  Mary drew out the initial sketch of a flat piece of A4 board with the components of a loom, which had lasercut interlocking slots.

Here's us discussing the Pop-up Loom with Kirsty Allsop at it's launch in May 

Serendipity hit on the day of the trade show, as just a few stands over was Candy Box Crafts, who manufacture a variety of lasercut craft kits. After a quick chat about the loom, Roy from Candy Box Crafts said they would happily create a prototype of the loom, and so began the first phase of the loom. After the first prototype was a little flimsy, Mary went away and redesigned the loom, creating her own cardstock prototype, adding more strut onto the design to make it sturdier and also incorporating weaving tools onto the board to use the entirety of space. The second prototype came back, and is the final design we now sell! Our design features a flat comb which lines up with the notches of the loom, as well as a shuttle which fits beneath the warp. We’re pretty pleased with how our loom turned out, and love that it can be snapped into action and set up within minutes.

You can shop our full weaving range over on the Hawthorn Handmade website.

Content and photography by Hawthorn Handmade

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