About the Hattersley Domestic
Domestic Loom was manufactured by George Hattersley & Sons Ltd of Keighley -
established in 1789 - the firm made every type of loom and a vast range of
associated textile equipment until 1981.
Not much is
known about the history of the Domestic Loom. Initially it has been said
that they were developed markets overseas in the British Empire. But it was
the Harris Tweed Industry which adopted the Hattersley Domestic Loom in the
loom combines all the know-how of 19th century loom engineering into a
small, compact format which is simply poetry in motion. From the moment I
first saw my first Hattersley, I knew I had to have one!
thirty Hattersley's were sent to the Outer Hebrides in 1919. These were 36
inches in the reed space and single shuttle. In 1924 the first six shuttle,
40 inch reed space looms arrived in Stornoway and this type of loom was the
most commonly used loom in the islands and is still in use today.
about the Hattersley Loom, but to be correct the loom was just one part of
the Hattersley Domestic Weaving System - consisting of a loom, pirn winder
and warping mill. Indeed over the years there were a number of developments,
although the basic underlying concept stayed the same.
Each loom was
assembled at the Hattersley works in Keighley before being packed in order
to ensure that all the parts worked properly. Then before dismantling,
various parts of the loom were numbered and marked with paint in order to
make it easier to assemble later. The loom was then placed in a crate -
which on arrival at its destination was then unpacked and assembled with
only reference to a simple guide.
connoisseurs will tell you NEVER give your loom a nice fresh coat of black
gloss paint - YOU WILL OBLITERATE the assembly marks. Also NEVER try to lift
your loom in one piece from its top with a winch - it was never designed for
The basic Mark
I loom is treadle operated and the amount of effort to start the machine
from rest and to keep it in motion varies from loom to loom, dependent on
how well it has been erected and tuned. Basically, no two looms feel the
same to weave on - they all have distinct personalities - and this is where
their charm comes from.
looms have tappets to control up to 8 shafts, healds or boards. Most looms
simply have 4 shafts and a set of four 2/2 Twill tappets and four plain
weave tappets. BUT, if you look in the spare parts catalogue you will find a
huge range of 5,6,7,and 8 pick tappets in the most wonderful shapes. In
order to cope with the different gearings the tappet drive cog on the bottom
drive shaft can be adjusted AND there are two sixes of tapped mounting drive
There was also
a Dobby Loom developed which was never very popular. Some take the view that
it was hard to pedal. BUT the more likely explanation is that in the Harris
Tweed industry most of the tweeds are woven using standard lifts and so the
flexibility of the Dobby simply is not required.