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Bernat Model 214 Loom

2012-04-03

I was on Craig’s List Sunday morning, poking around for a cheap combination sander which I might use to taper the scarf joints of banjo rims. When I came up empty-handed, I decided to search for looms; it had been a while since I looked, and sometimes surprising things come up. My timing couldn’t have been better! Someone had listed a Bernat Model 214 loom for a very good price, less than an hour before. It’s a smaller floor loom - 4 harnesses, 4 treadles, about 14 inches wide.

It looked like everything was there in the photo, so I sent the seller an e-mail. While I waited for a reply, I started digging around online. Bernat still exists as a yarn brand, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information about their looms online. I did find a brochure titled Bernat Looms and Loom Accessories which features a Model 220, which looked very similar (20 inches wide instead of 14, presumably how they derived the model numbers.) The 220 is a table loom, and on closer inspection of the Craig’s List loom it looked like the treadles on the 214 may have been a well-executed custom conversion.

By late afternoon I hadn’t heard anything back and assumed someone had beaten me to it… and that was when I got the phone call. Off I went to pick up my new loom:

Photo of Bernat model 214

There’s no date on the loom. If I had to guess I’d place it in the first third of the 20th century. Apparently it had spent at least some of its life in a high school home economics classroom… the seller had taken it home when the school got rid of it, but hadn’t gotten around to using himself and had decided it was time to let it go. I’ll need to re-tie at least one of the harnesses and re-attach the cleat that keeps the back beam stationary, but otherwise it looks ready to go. It will be perfect for scarves, assuming it works well.