Category Archives: Small Looms

Small looms, rigid heddle, inkle, band weaving.

Spears loom

I found this lovely little loom on Ebay. It came in its original box, complete with instructions and weaving sticks. It is a Spears No 3 Weaving Loom made in the 1950’s. Spears looms were designed to be a child’s toy loom, but they are quite sturdy and well made. With the rigid heddle that lifts and lowers alternate warp threads, the looms are designed for weaving plain fabrics.

However I thought that I could also use this loom for weaving small tapestries. Rather than threading the reed using both the holes and slots, I threaded the warp through the holes only as I will not be using the reed to lift and lower the warp or to beat the weft in place. Instead I will lift and lower the warp threads by hand, as in tapestry. I use a fork to beat down the weft into place.
To test this loom I put on a narrow warp (about 4 inches in width)

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Yarn

Warp:
For this project I used 3 ply hemp yarn for the warp. 18 ends, 2 yards in length.
If you don’t have hemp, you can substitute with a linen or a strong cotton yarn.
Weft:
I am using single ply handspun wool for the weft that has been dyed with natural fungi and plant dyes.
Boletopsis Grisea – Greens
Cortinarious semisanguineous -Ppinks
Logwood – Blue/grey
I wind small amounts of yarn into butterflies.

Spears loom

The ‘warp beams’ have slots in them for tying the warp threads to. I found it quite fiddly and difficult to hold the warp in place in the grooves, so I used some cello tape to tape them down. Once the ends were secure I wound the warp onto the ‘back beam’ and put the holding pin (brake) into the small holes on the beam to hold it in place.

warp spears loom

Spears weaving loom

At the front end of the loom, I tied the warp ends over the warp beam, similarly to tying them on a floor loom.

In this sample, I am demonstrating a few common tapestry techniques.

Header

I begin the project by weaving in a header using 2 ply wool. Weave a tabby pattern (over/under warp threads) for about 1/2 inch to create a firm edge for the tapestry.

weave header

Slit Technique

In the Slit technique, each colour is woven back and forth, separately. This is generally used in small sections as a slit is created in the rug.

tapestry split technique

Warp Interlock

Two colours can also meet by wrapping around the same warp thread. The Warp Interlock creates a jagged edge and is used in diagonal joins.

tapestry interlock technique

Diagonal

Diagonal (or other) shapes are woven using a combination of interlocking techniques. The steepness of the diagonal determines when to change to the next colour.

tapestry diagonal technique

Weft Interlock

In the Weft Interlock, the two adjoining colours wrap around each other between two warp threads. It is used on long vertical joins.

Spears weaving loom

My Next Tapestry Project

Fish Hut tapestry
Fishing Hut Tapestry
.. work in progress..

Fishing Hut Tapestry
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More Spears Looms

Spears No 4 Loom
Spears No 3 Loom
Spears No 2 Loom

Tapestry Weaving Books

Small Loom & Freeform Weaving: Five Ways to Weave
Included are 30 projects, some of which can easily be completed in an evening or weekend. Step-by-step, diagrammed instructions for personal items, such as iPod and cell phone holders, scarves, purses, and jewelry, and home decor projects, such as pillows, table runners, wall hangings, and book covers.

Tapestry Handbook
The weaving process is explained step-by-step and illustrated with over 300 beautiful color photographs and diagrams of tapestry techniques.

Tapestry Weaving
Clear instructions on how to weave tapestry.

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Mudchute Farm Weaving: aa052204d

Mudchute Farm is located on the Isle of Dogs, in east London.

I’ve had the delightful opportunity to work at Mudchute Farm, giving weaving and handspinning demonstrations. These samples were woven by the young children that attended the school break sessions at the farm.

The looms that were available at Mudchute Farm were Marcroft Looms. Although the looms were quite easy to warp, I found that they were difficult for small children to use. The warp threads had a tendency to bounce out of the ‘heddles’ creating a bit of a chaos to frequently sort out. I think a fixed rigid heddle loom would be easier to manage for beginner weavers.

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30" Schacht Flip Rigid Heddle Loom and Stand - new

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Ashford 20" Knitter's Loom, w/stand, bag, 4 various heddles, + more

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Kessenich Hand Weaving 14" Tabletop Loom

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Rigid Heddle Looms

Jo posted these pictures and instructions on how to warp a Rigid Heddle loom, to our Forum.
WarpingARigidHeddle1.jpg, 25831 bytes

1. tie the end of your warp to the anchor (at a distance that is the length of the warp you want…..
NOTE: clamp loom to a stable surface….
WarpingARigidHeddle2.jpg, 25774 bytes

2. Sley the slots (only) in the reed – by looping the end of the thread. The slip that loop over the stick attached to the back roller……
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Repeat this till the warp is the width you require…..
wrap around your anchor and then unwind the yarn to the heddle and pull loop of yarn through the next slot and so on……..

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This is what your finished warp will look like…..

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Another view of finished warp….

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Now it is the time to cut the warp from your anchor…..
It may be best to have someone help you wind the warp as this can help keep even tention and makes it a lot easier for you……..
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I usually put paper between the layers of wound warp on the back beam……
When you get about 1 foot away from the “fixed” heddle (your heddle should be in the “fixed” position throughout warping)….
It is now time to sley the holes…..
take the top thread from the slot, starting on the left and put it in the hole to the right……

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Now it’s time to tie the warp to the front stick that is attched to the front roller/beam…..
Please be sure to tie with even tention…..
Here is what the warped loom looks like…..

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Now it is time to weave……
usually you need to weave what’s called a “heading”…..just a few wefts till the warp is even (notice the taping at the front – you just want to get past this). When you put in a weft thread into the warp angle it up toward the heddle at about 45 degree angle – this will help to prevent the weaving drawing in at the sides…….
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Now beat down that weft – not too hard – if you pack them down too hard your fabric may not drape as nicely.
Finally, always wet finish your piece. I wash my woolen item in the washing mashine with hot water but others prefer warm water or even hand washing – this can be an area to experiment as the wet finish can make or break a piece…..
Happy Weaving !!

Knee Rugs woven on a Rigid Heddle Loom
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Rigid Heddle Weaving

Rigid Heddle Pickup Weaving
Beaivi Rigid Heddle Loom
Double Hole Rigid Heddle
Sami Weaving Drafts

Weaving Books

Weaving Made Easy: 17 Projects Using a Simple Loom
The small, portable rigid heddle loom can be used to easily produce loose, drape-friendly fabric as well as dense, sturdy material.
UK: Weaving Made Easy

The Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom
Techniques include leno, Brooks bouquet, soumak, and embroidery on fabric.
UK: Weavers Idea Book

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used-dorothy

For Sale: Used Leclerc Dorothy Loom

This loom is now sold
Nilus LeClerc “Dorothy” Table Loom w/warping boards $675.00 (new) $325.00
Maple Wood Frame size = 26′ square x 24″ height
24″ weaving width
4 shafts configuration with 4 color coded right mounted levers.
Loom is constructed using 4 independent “shaft boxes” each having 4 harnesses.
Loom folds flat to compact size for storage _
folded height = 9 1/2″
This loom is designed for use as a table loom however special table legs are available for this version that allow it to stand on the floor.

Leclerc Dorothy weaving loom

Please contact Carole for more information.
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Weaving Books

Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom: Discover the Full Potential of the Rigid-Heddle Loom, for Beginners and Beyond
Weaving for Beginners: An Illustrated Guide (Peggy Osterkamp’s New Guide to Weaving Series)
Weaving: A Creative Approach for Beginners
Learning to Weave
The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory

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30" Schacht Flip Rigid Heddle Loom and Stand - new

$280.00 (21 Bids)
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Ashford 20" Knitter's Loom, w/stand, bag, 4 various heddles, + more

$355.00 (32 Bids)
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Kessenich Hand Weaving 14" Tabletop Loom

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How to Warp a Saami Rigid Heddle: warpreed

To put a warp onto a Beaivi Sami weaving loom is a fairly simple process. I use my warping board that is attached to the back of my loom to measure the warp – similar to preparing a warp for any other loom. While I am measuring the warp, I thread the Beaivi loom at the same time. I thread 2 warp ends through each slot of the Beaivi weaving reed as I am warping. I found that the drilled holes are too small to thread easily without using a needle for threading, so I will transfer the warp threads to the holes after I have measured the warp.

Beaivi loom

After I have threaded all the ground warp threads through the slots according to the drafting plan, I then thread the thicker pattern warp threads, also threading them through the slots.

I carefully remove the warp from the warping board, creating a warp chain as I am removing it – again similar to the warping process for the regular loom.

I don’t use a weaving frame, inkle loom or a box loom for this type of weaving. I find it simpler (and more portable) to tie one end of the warp to the back of a chair or onto one of the pegs of my warping board. The other end – that you weave from – can be tied to your waist, similar to weaving on a backstrap loom. Instead of tying the warp to my waist, I use a small art board and paperclip the other end to the edge of the art board. The art board then sits on my lap as I work, and I also have a suface that I can attach the weaving pattern to. I find this system to be much easier on my back than trying to adjust the warp tension with my waist.

When I first received my Beaivi loom, I found that some of the small drilled holes were a bit tight to fit a threading needle through. I loosened the holes by wiggling the end of the needle in the hole for a bit.

thread Beaivi loom

I place the warp chain and reed onto the art board and cut one end of the warp.
I now transfer one of the ground warp threads that are currently in the slots into the bottom row of holes. Using a large tapestry needle I then transfer one of the ground warp threads from each slot into the adjacent bottom hole. So that the ground warp threads are now threaded with 1 warp thread in a slot alternating with the next ground warp thread in the bottom hole. I tie a knot at the end of the warp to secure all the warp threads in place.
Using the threading needle, then I thread the thicker pattern threads into the correct top row of holes. And tie a knot at the end of these warp threads to secure them.

I then clip all of the warp ends to the edge of the art board using a large paperclip.
I tie the other warp end to a peg on my warping board and adjust the tension. And begin to weave.

I begin by weaving a few inches without picking up any of the pattern threads. I let these remain on top. I find that this makes it easier to get the correct tension for the tabby ground weave, before I start to weave the pattern into the design. The weft should be pulled quite tightly so that the tabby ground is sett quite closely resulting in a firm weave. This will allow the pattern warp to float above the ground weave.

Beaivi 2 Hole Rigid Heddle Loom
How to weave pickup with the Sami style 2 hole weaving reed.

Saami weaving loom

Beaivi:

      Wikipedia
    Beaivi (or Päivi in Finnish) is the Sami name for the Sun or Sun deity. In Sami myth, she travels with her daughter Beaivi-nieida through the sky in an enclosure covered by reindeer bones, bringing green plants back to the winter earth for the reindeer to eat. She was also called upon to restore the mental health of those who went insane because of the continual darkness of the long winter.

Sami Weaving

Sami Rigid Heddle Weaving
Beaivi Rigid Heddle Loom
Sami Weaving Drafts
Rigid Heddle Pickup
2 Hole Weaving Reed
Double Slot Weaving Reed

Sue Foulkes has written a few books about Sami band weaving and using a Sunna heddle.

Band Weaving
Simple finger-woven bands, soda-straw loom bands,hungarian-loom bands,twining-loom bands,rigid-heddle bands,band weaving on the american inkle loom,card-woven bands andweaving variations for special effects.

Inkle Weaving
Inkle weaving basics, how to get started and more.

Band. Vävda Band, Brickband, Flätade Band Och Pinnband Av Ull, Lin Och Bomull / Weaving Bands: Woven Bands / Table Bands / Plaited Bands / Insertion Bands [
Woven Bands – in Swedish.

Väva I Bandgrind

The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory: 400 Warp-Faced Weaves
An overview of inkle weaving’s history and traditions, instructions for loom set-up and simple techniques and 400 woven patterns.

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2 Hole Weaving Reed

From high-tech to low-tech weaving –
My latest handweaving obsession is studying more about the weaving of narrow bands, belts and braids done by my ancestors. After finding a unique double slot weaving reed during a trip to Sweden, I did some more research on these small and portable weaving reeds used by the Saami people of northern Scandinavia.
I had seen some photos of weaving reeds in museum collections that had 2 holes instead of one on a small rigid heddle. The additional hole is for the pattern warp thread and makes it easier to weave pickup patterns. The pattern warp thread is picked up to float above the ground weave or pushed down according to the pattern.
During my research I found a Sami loom maker Stoorstalka who makes traditional Sami style weaving reeds using modern materials. I contacted them about these looms and they very kindly designed a weaving reed to my specification.
I am delighted with the result and look forward to spending many delightful hours weaving these colorful and unique style of belts.

Beaivi Loom
You can now order your own Sami 2 hole weaving reed from my Paivatar Yarn shop on Etsy.

Beavi 2 Hole Weaving Reed
Beavi 2 Hole Weaving Reed

Beaivi Wikipedia
Beaivi (or Päivi in Finnish) is the Sami name for the Sun or Sun deity. In Sami myth, she travels with her daughter Beaivi-nieida through the sky in an enclosure covered by reindeer bones, bringing green plants back to the winter earth for the reindeer to eat. She was also called upon to restore the mental health of those who went insane because of the continual darkness of the long winter.

Weaving with a Sami Weaving Reed

Sami belt

This is my first attempt at weaving with this loom. I decided to keep the pattern very simple at this stage, and to concentrate on getting my tension right. I found this weaving reed very easy to use. It is lightweight, easy to thread and very pretty to look at. The threads do not snag, as they did on the earlier wooden version that I had.

The warp ends are tied similarly to when using weaving cards or tablets. One end of the warp is tied to a post – I tie the warp ends to the warping board that is attached to the back of the loom. The other end can be tied to a belt around your waist as in backstrap weaving. I found that clipping the warp threads to an art board that sits on my lap as I weave, an easier method to use, as my back doesn’t hurt while I am weaving, and it provides a surface to rest the weaving pattern and the weaving reed on as I work
.
Weaving with a Double Slot weaving reed.

How to Weave on a Double Hole Rigid Heddle Loom

When you push the heddle down, the pattern threads (Black) move into the middle of the heddle – the top warp threads of the ground warp are raised and the bottom warp threads are lowered.

Hold the weaving reed in this lower position and put your hand into the raised shed, separate the threads and run your hand down to open the shed and beat down the previous row.
The pattern threads (Black) are now in the center, in between the 2 ground warp threads.
Pick up the pattern threads (Black) that are used in this row of the pattern and push down the other (Black) pattern threads. Leave all the other (red) top ground threads in your hand – as this weaves the tabby ground warp.
Pass your weaving shuttle through this row.

Lift up the weaving reed to change the shed.

Put your hand into this shed and beat down the previous row and adjust the tension.

The pattern threads (Black) will now be above both of the ground warp threads.
While holding onto the raised ground warp and pattern warp threads, pick up the (Black) pattern threads according to the pattern draft, and allow the other (Black) pattern threads to drop – keeping all of the raised ground warp threads (Red) up, as this again weaves the tabby ground warp.
Pass the weaving shuttle through this row.

The Black pattern threads that you picked up will float above the warp. The Black pattern threads that you dropped will float on the underside of the warp, creating a mirror effect on the reverse of the cloth.

Change sheds by dropping or pushing down the weaving reed.

Again put your hand into the formed shed and beat down the previous row and adjust the tension.

Adding Beads to Weaving
I thought I would experiment with adding a few beads to this woven band. I used seed beads and strung them onto a length of yarn, similar to the yarn I was using for the weft. I threaded this yarn through on a weft row and positioned the seed bead in between the warp threads and beat the weft into place, and wove the next weft row with the regular weft yarn I had been using.
The loops of weft yarn will be sewn in and trimmed off during finishing.

Double Hole Rigid Heddle Loom

If you are looking for something new to add to your loom collection, why not add one of these from Stoorstalka?

Saami weaving loom


Background of the modern Sami Weaving Loom

Why not a good old loom made of reindeer horn?
More about Sami Weaving
How to Warp a Beaivi Weaving Loom

Saami Double Hole Rigid Heddle Looms

Saami Band Weaving

Sami Duodji
About Sami art and culture.

Braids and Bands
Why not join the Yahoo group to learn more about weaving braids and bands?

Saami Music – Itunes
Binna Banna – Kikki Aikio
Áphi (Wide As Oceans) – Sofia Jannok
Ulda – Ulla Pirttijärvi & Ulda
The Kautokeino Rebellion (Music from the Movie) – Herman Rundberg, Mari Boine & Svein Schultz
Beaivi, Áhcázan (The Sun, My Father) – Nils-Aslak Valkeapää

Saami Weaving Books
Sue Foulkes has written a few books about Sami band weaving and using a Sunna heddle.

Norwegian Pick-Up Bandweaving
The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory: 400 Warp-Faced Weaves
Band. Vävda Band, Brickband, Flätade Band Och Pinnband Av Ull, Lin Och Bomull / Weaving Bands: Woven Bands / Table Bands / Plaited Bands / Insertion Bands [

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Inkle Loom Weaving: inkle

Hands that Weave
Dorothy weaves linen inkle bands.

Inkle Weaving
This site has patterns, photo galleries and resources for inkle weavers.

Inkle Band Weaving
Some examples of inkle band weaving used in wall hangings and Latvian skirts.

Inkle Weaving Instructions
Earthguild provides instructions for how to weave with an inkle loom.

Inkle Weaving Looms
Inkle looms from Shacht.

Ashford Looms
Ashord Inkle looms.

Inkle Weaving Books

The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory: 400 Warp-Faced Weaves
An overview of inkle weaving’s history and traditions. Instructions for loom set-up and simple techniques.
An astonishing 400 woven patterns—some making their first debut.

The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory: 400 Warp-Faced Weaves
This book provides 400 inkle weave patterns for loom enthusiasts.

Inkle Weaving
A comprehensive book on weaving using an inkle loom, with instructions on how to build one as well.

Band Weaving

Rigid Heddle Weaving
Sami Weaving Patterns
Band Weaving
2 Hole Weaving Reed
Woven Bands, Belts and Braids

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Double Slot Weaving Reed

Sami double slot weaving reed

I found this Sami weaving reed in a small craft shop in Sweden. It is used to weave traditional Sami style belts and bands. The reed is similar to a standard rigid heddle but has an extra set of slots that are designed to carry the pattern warp. The regular holes and slots carry the background warp threads. The background warp weaves a basket weave pattern and the pattern threads float on top of the warp threads.

Sami Rigid Heddle Band Weaving
Sami Rigid Heddle Band Weaving

As I was researching about how to weave pickup with this loom, it was recommended that the warp should be attached to a weaving belt tied around your waist (similar to a backstrap loom) or to a ‘weaving board’ where the front and back of the warp are tied to pegs attached to a long wooden board. Since I don’t have a handy DIY guy who could make such a weaving board for me, I found an art board at The Coln Gallery, my local art shop that I thought would work instead. I attached the front of the warp to the bottom edge of the board with a large paper clip. And I tied the back end of the warp to the warping board that is attached to my loom. As I weave, I advance the warp and tighten the tension on the paper clip. This method seems to work quite well.

Sami Band Weaving
Sami Band Weaving

When you raise or lower this weaving reed, the background warp threads lift or lower, creating a shed for weaving. The pattern warp threads remain in the center of the shed.
This makes it quite easy to pick up the pattern threads that you wish to raise according to the pattern.
So that I don’t get mixed up about when to raise or lower the reed, when I throw the shuttle from the left, I raise the reed. When I throw the shuttle from the right, I drop or lower the reed.
The weaving draft can be read from the top down or from the bottom up, according to your preference.

Sami Band Weaving
Sami Band Weaving

Weaving from the Left
Raise the reed. This raises the group of warp threads and creates a shed.
Pick up the pattern threads from the middle of the warp, according to the draft plan.
Hold these pattern threads up along with the warp threads that have been raised.

Throw the shuttle from the left to the right and gently pull the weft thread to adjust the tension.

Weaving from the Right
Allow the reed to drop, lowering the warp threads and raising the alternate warp threads.
Pick up the next row of pattern threads,.
In this example I have lifted #2,#6,#10 pattern threads along with the raised background warp threads.

Sami Band Weaving
Sami Band Weaving

Then beat the previous weft row into place using your finger and adjust the tension for an even beat.

Throw the shuttle from the right to the left and pull the weft thread into place, adjusting the tension.

Sami Band Weaving
Sami Band Weaving
Sami Band Weaving
Sami Band Weaving

In this example, throwing the shuttle from the left, I have raised pattern threads #1, #3, #9, #11

Sami Band Loom
Sami Band Loom

Felting and Finishing

When you weave this belt, the weave structure will be quite loose, similar to when you are weaving a wool blanket or other item. After weaving, it is best to lightly felt it, so that the weave structure will come together. The weave pattern has long floats. Once it has been felted these floats will work their way into the cloth.
I felted this belt by handwashing it quite vigorously in the sink – with a bit of dish soap and hot water. And rinsed in cold water to help shock the wool and make the felting process go more quickly.

Sami Band Woven Belt
Sami Band Woven Belt

More about Sami Band Weaving

Rigid Heddle Pickup Patterns

Saami Bandweaving

Saami Double Hole Looms

Sami Weaving Drafts

How to Warp a Sami Loom

How to Weave on a Beaivi Sami loom

Stoorstalka Weaving Reeds
A traditional Sami weaving reed made of modern materials. Stoorstalka now makes several designs of Sami Weaving reeds: standard, double slot ‘Sunna’ and double hole ‘Beaivi’ – and also a new Sami style weaving shuttle ‘Gehpa’. Wonderful!

You can now purchase them in my PaivatarYarn Etsy Shop

Beaivi Style Sami Weaving Reed
Beaivi Style Sami Weaving Reed

Wooden Weaving Shuttels
Wooden Weaving Shuttels


Background of the modern Sami Weaving Loom

Why not a good old loom made of reindeer horn?

2 Hole Weaving Reed
My New Weaving Loom.

Michael Williams Woodworking
A place to buy handmade wooden weaving reeds, shuttles and other weaving tools

Sami Weaving Books

Sue Foulkes has written a few books about Sami band weaving and using a Sunna heddle.

Saami Music – Itunes

Binna Banna – Kikki Aikio
Áphi (Wide As Oceans) – Sofia Jannok
Ulda – Ulla Pirttijärvi & Ulda
The Kautokeino Rebellion (Music from the Movie) – Herman Rundberg, Mari Boine & Svein Schultz
Beaivi, Áhcázan (The Sun, My Father) – Nils-Aslak Valkeapää

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Antique Wooden Spinning Wheel Great Old Item!!

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End Date: Saturday Feb-22-2020 17:08:08 PST
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Rare Vintage Made In Holland Louet S10 Wooden Spinning Wheel Clothing Spool

$299.99
End Date: Sunday Mar-22-2020 8:28:00 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $299.99
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Fiber Wool Combs Carders Spinning Wheel

$110.00
End Date: Thursday Feb-27-2020 0:00:01 PST
Buy It Now for only: $110.00
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