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Our loom

Newburgh Handloom Weavers uses two Thomas Kennedy handlooms, both built in Galashiels around the end of the 19th century. The Kennedy looms have two flying shuttles which can produce fine tweed in twill, herringbone and hounds-tooth amongst others. Our looms are traditional wooden looms, non-mechanised, which work by one hand throwing the shuttle, the other hand beating the cloth and both feet working the treadles to change the shed. These types of loom were common pre-1920’s and require a great deal of skill to produce an even cloth and to balance the loom.

What we do

Our looms allow us to weave very high quality woollen tweed in a variety of designs and colours, all of which are entirely hand-woven. We produce short lengths (from 10m up to 40m) of tweed on our Kennedy looms capable of producing cloth up to 1m wide. We mainly weave traditional Scottish tweeds, supporting an industry which goes back generations. Jimmy has learned to weave in this way, being taught by master weavers, and is now passing on this sense of tradition and pride to Erika, who is continuing this legacy. We are honouring and reviving tweed production as it used to be and producing cloth which is every bit as high quality as that produced on modern looms. We are building a long-term sustainable business based on tradition and traditional skills, involving a sense of heritage and love of wool, and where Jimmy is passing on his skills and knowledge to Erika and together they are producing fine tweeds and cloth in this time-honoured way.

Our weaving process

In order to reach the stage where we can weave our cloth, there are a number of steps which we need to take. We begin by choosing our yarn and then make a sample warp to test out the combination of colours and design. We then calculate the amount of yarn needed to make the cloth and prepare the pirns for the warp. Next, we need to make the warp and wind it onto the back roller before transferring the back roller onto the loom. From here, we thread the yarn through the heddles and reed according to the design being used and then we are ready to start weaving! Once the cloth has reached the end, we hear the irons fall to the floor as they are released from the warp and it is time to shout ‘Glad Iron’! The cloth is now ready to be cut from the loom and sent to the finishers for washing, shrinking and cropping. Our cloth is now ready to be made into a variety of garments and furnishings from jackets and waistcoats to cushions, curtains and upholstery. Our process from handloom to heirloom is now complete.

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Jimmy: +44 (0) 7971 224 573