Pin looms make weaving portable, fast, and modular, almost more like crocheting than “weaving” writ large. But what does the history of pin looms look like? How long have weavers been using these fun little handheld looms to build creative little squares? Let’s dive in on BeWeave It!
Handheld looms have existed for thousands of years in most cultures around the world, but pin looms as we know them today first became popular in the 1930s, when it was common for weavers to combine squares to create everything from baby blankets to coats. Back then, many women still made a significant proportion of their clothing at home, so early pin loom pattern books focused on clothing for adults and children, plus some DIY home décor items as well.
Popular brands included Easiweave, Jiffy-Looms, Double Weeve, and the perennially popular Weave-It loom. If you’re interested in learning more about these vintage looms, click here to visit eLoomaNation, a site dedicated to the history of pin looms. Today, if you’d like to try weaving with a Zoom Loom, check out this kit from Handwoven!
During World War II, pin loom manufacturing was dramatically reduced as a result of the war effort. But certain major brands remained popular, and it was
considered patriotic to make some of your own clothing. It was part of the self-sufficiency movement so characteristic of the World War II home front. Victory gardens fell into the same category.
In the late 60s and early 70s, pin looms saw another small revival as part of the arts and crafts movement of that time, though it didn’t see as much of an upswing as crafts like dyeing, knitting, crochet, and quilting.
Today I see another revival in self-sufficiency, with knitting, crochet, and even gardening coming back around. Here’s hoping that pin looms take off in the same way!
If you haven’t given pin looms a try yet, check out this cute pattern for a pin loom flower designed by Christina! I know I for one have these slated for my next craft night!