How to Make Flowers Using a Vintage Flower Loomcomments (23) September 18th, 2008
I get lots of ideas for projects from vintage craft books and magazines. One day I ran across a copy of Swistraw and Flower Looms written in 1972 by LeJeune Whitney. As I looked at the pictures, I just fell in love with the flowers made on a small round loom using “Swistraw”—a brand name for a synthetic form of raffia.
Of course I just couldn’t wait to get started but soon found out that the supplies were no longer being produced. I then embarked on a mission to seek them out. One thing led to another, and I ended up with so many supplies I started assembling kits that I sell at craft fairs. So many people tell me that this craft brings up happy memories of their moms, grandmothers, or aunties making flowers on a loom.
For this how-to, I’m using the “Multi-Fleur” loom. It’s about 3-1/2 inches across and has two rows of pegs. The pegs are numbered 1–12 going counterclockwise. When you are first learning, it’s probably a good idea to follow the numbers, but honestly once you get the hang of it you don’t really need to.
You can use yarn, synthetic raffia, ribbon, string, even wire. I love the look of the vintage “Swistraw”—especially the colors and textures—but the synthetic raffia now marketed as gift ribbon is basically the same thing.
Starting with a 36-inch tail, secure the material in the notch near peg #7. Working counterclockwise, wrap your material around each of the outer pegs. You work in a figure 8 as you wrap the material around opposite pegs (1 to 7, 2 to 8, 3 to 9, 4 to 10, 5 to 11). Each time all the way around the loom creates one layer. Go completely around two to three times (i.e., two or three layers). Secure the end in the notch, leaving an 8-inch tail.
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery