The Palm Loom – Prize-Winning Rugs

A hot pad made from the vintage Palm Loom tool

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I love an old ad. And this 1967 issue had a great one! Palm Loom, “Make Prize-Winning Rugs.” It was right there in the February issue, tucked between 40 yards of lace for $1, and a “Female-Dri” belt. So, I tracked down the Palm Loom on ebay, and after some browsing, watching, rebrowsing, rewatching, and finally some bidding I got one! $6 from Colorado.

Luckily, not only did I track it down, but it came with the original paperwork; a full color sheet, and a page of black and white instructions (with quite a few testimonials.) In a box so well fitted it almost had to be original too.

The actual loom is two plastic disks, with one slot and some arrows, that are on a bolt with two nuts in between and a wing nut on top. You wrap fabric, or yarn, around and around, then follow the simple sewing instructions, and then unscrew the layers completely to remove your finished “plat.” I did one with fabric strips, and then one with regular worsted weight yarn.

You can control the overall look of the rug by using certain colors, colored threads to sew together, etc. I found the regular yarn one to be to pluffy, I can’t picture a rug out of it. But I do intend to experiment a bit more. I can picture a thick cotton macrame style cord making a nice plat. My first fabric plat was a bit blobby in the center, but as I practiced I ended up getting nice open center holes that looked quite cute.

The instructions said to simply add new yarn/fabric by putting the end in the slot, BUT I didn’t have good luck with that at all. The pieces couldn’t then spin as needed for the sewing step. SO I did the classic snip and loop, for fabric rug making, and then wound the long string into a ball. As I switched colors I just packed the joined end as tightly and smoothly as I could in the loom. They came out great. A tennis ball sized roll made about 4-5 plats. And after a few hours of fabric tearing, wrapping, and sewing, I made enough to sew together.

Besides it basically saying to squish them together, lined up, the finishing directions were not great. I used the same cotton cord I sewed the plats with, and got visible lines. I did a generally scrappy style, because that’s what I like. Each plat comes to around 2.5 inches, and a 7 plat mat comes to around 7 inches after being squished together. The final mat is about a quarter inch thick, and very tight and solid. I was able to throw it frisbee style.

I can say, mine looked no where near as good as the ad. I also can’t picture making 126 rugs, as the lady in the ad did. I did think it was neat, fun, easy enough for kids or people with some mobility/dexterity issues. I’m working on a second ball of rug fabric to keep making my mat bigger.

If you ever happen upon an inexpensive Palm Loom I’d suggest getting it and playing around with it. Several ebay sellers wanted $20-25 dollars! I wouldn’t recommend paying that much, but perhaps you find one in a thrift store for a few bucks, or maybe in someone’s old workbasket.

If you’ve ever tried the Palm Loom I’d love to hear about it in the comments! If enough people are interested one day I could do an instructions post!

16 Comments

  1. I would love to have a copy of the instructions!
    I just bought palmloom at an antique shop in Millersburg, Ohio at “Antiques in the Ally”!
    It had a sample someone had made, but no instructions . Thanks! Cathie Whitt

    1. Author

      If you contact me at Alicia @ Myworkbasket.com then I’ll gladly send you some scans. 🙂

  2. I found a Palmloom in some of my mother n laws stuff years ago and couldn’t throw it away. Today I decided to search it and your site came up. I don’t have instructions either if you don’t mind sharing. I love trying new things. My grandma made oval rugs out of nylons (pantyhose wasn’t invented yet) and I hope to figure that out one day. 😊

    1. Author

      The Palmloom is quite fun! I can think of several ways to make rugs from nylons. DO you happen to have any pictures of the rugs? If you can send a picture I might know how she did it. I’ll gladly send you palm loom instructions, just shoot me an email Alicia @ MyWorkbasket.com (remove the spaces) 🙂

  3. Thank you for this post. I have had one of these forever but couldnt quite get the hang of it. You revived the tool for me and may try with various textiles.

    1. Author

      Good luck! Do you have the directions? If not email me and I’ll send you a copy. I’d love to see what you make, even if it’s a fail! 🙂

  4. Perfect timing! I ffound one of these today in the thrift shop I volunteer at, looks brand new an cost me a whole 99 cents. Iwill be emailing you to take you up on your generous offer of instructions. I am also signing up for your newsletters, it looks like you have some interesting content Thanks!

    1. Author

      That’s a good price! All my years of thrift shopping I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before. Do reach out to me for instructions, and send me photos of your first project! Thanks for reading and subscribing!

  5. Hello,
    I’ve had a palm loom for many years. In original box with instruction sheet but I simply don’t understand how you sew through the section to hold round together. Feeling not smart! Can you direct me to a tutorial video or some picture directions. Thank you for any help

    1. Author

      I have never been able to find a video, but just recently put it on my to-do list to make one! I’ll probably record it next weekend and get it up soon after that. 🙂

      1. Thank You. I have one.with instructions but it’s just not clicking in my brain yet. I crochet using YouTube tutorials & can’t for the life of me follow a written pattern. 🤯🤪

        1. Author

          I am planning a video to help with that too!! Going step by step with a pattern and filming to show how to follow it. Hopefully after the holidays!

    2. Me too. Can’t find anything on YouTube either.

  6. I inherited a Palm Loom from my great grandmothers but alas no instructions. She did a lot of weaving and needlework. I have a rug she made and several quils and scarves along with placemats. I would appreciate the instructions so I might put this tool to use. Bertie

    1. Author

      No Problem Bertie! send me an email at Alicia@MyWorkbasket.com and I have photos saved of the original instructions. I also will be doing a tutorial video at some point soon. 🙂

  7. I stumbled upon this great find today for 25 cents at a thrift shop. Had to scour the basket for the box and instructions but found them! Can’t wait for your video. I love finding the craft tools of yesteryear. Will try my hand at it and think it would be a great gift of a coffee mug and mat with a packet of teas strung with small stranded jute.

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