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!