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Woolhouse Tools began in 1977 founded by John & Teruko Low.
In 2011, Tim was building weaving supplies in Utah. At a Mary Atwater Weaver's Guild meeting a lady approached Tim to ask him to look at her loom. What proceeded was a sales pitch for her 16-shaft Woolhouse Tools Julie loom. Tim recalls few elements of the loom but vividly recalled the weaver's enthusiasm. She ended by telling Tim that John was retiring and selling his business.
Tim reached out to John and he rebuffed, asking Tim to contact him again in 2 years. Two years passed and John rebuffed again. Two more years, again rebuffed. When John didn't sell in 2015, it was late 2020 when Tim reached out to him again. This time John provided Tim with a very complete list of what was available in his table loom line. Carolyn was John's first loom in 1977. Mimi came next followed by Julie, Margaret & Airloom. Tim asked John if he knew of anyone that regularly taught on his looms and he provided Natalie Boyette's name. Natalie & the Chicago Weaving School became an invaluable part of this story because she replied to Tim's inquiry by telling him that the Carolyn is the best table loom along with a PO for 5 with 8-shafts. She'd been teaching on her 6 Carolyns for about 15 years.
John's list included info about how he acquired materials and his processes. Learning how John built these looms was essential to understanding where John left the project. John's parcels containing tooling, jigs and fixtures arrived in March 2021, and we spent the spring/summer outfitting our shop to build looms. By late summer 2021 we delivered Natalie her looms. We built Carolyns and Mimis first and had planned by winter 2021 to build Airloom.
The Airloom needed more rework than expected, so the refresh became Alice. Alice is the baby, and is the only loom we sell with a 10" weaving width. She folds down quickly with or without a warp in place. She has 8 shafts and can fit in a normal sized suitcase when folded.
Alice design sessions led us to Norah. After working to create a quick folding method for Alice it became apparent that our base design could work for a 16.5" looms. Norah represents the best features of Alice and Mimi.
By winter of 2022, we had the parts for Alice, Norah, Mimi, & Carolyn mostly figured out. We needed a stand for these looms. Most table loom designers today use either a single piece leg structure with gussets (angled bars that support a 90 degree connection) or a scissor style. Our research indicates that John used both at some point. The Carolyn, Mimi, Julie & Norah loom stands are 3/4" Appleply with hard maple legs that fold flat. Including the wrench magnets on the stand design gave the user the ability to magnetically store the tool necessary to make any tightening adjustments that couldn't be done by hand.
By spring of 2022 we had the bench and a boat shuttle underway. John didn't, to our knowledge, offer a boat shuttle. We wanted a small, lightweight boat shuttle that stayed consistant with Woolhouse.
The President of the Cincinnati Weavers' Guild, Melissa Lusk, let us borrow her original Woolhouse bench and we recreated that from 3/4" ApplePly with a few upgrades. Loom+Stand+Bench creates a handsome and capable weaving kit.
Margaret, both 16 & 24 shaft are planned for late 2022. Julie should be available sometime in early 2023.
I'd like to build upon this story as time passes. Feel free to contact us if you feel anything here is missing or misrepresented.