Wednesday, November 18, 2015

AVL Winter Artisan Sale

AVL Artisan Winter Sale

Celebrate the Artisan within.

'Tis the season to gear up for a Winter of Weaving! Whether you're a production weaver making studio samples or gifting the entire family scarves for the holidays, hop on these great deals to make time at the loom this season wonderful.
Artisan Loom
15% OFF
Learn More
All Warping Accessories
15% OFF
Code: WARP15
Buy Now
Pre-Owned Looms
20% OFF
Buy Now
Copyright © 2015 AVL Looms, Inc, All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

AVL Summer Sale!

We're hosting a huge summer sale now through the end of July!
Use the coupon code: AVLSUMMER to save big on all of these deals on the AVL Looms website, or give us a call and mention this blog post to save on your phone order. You can call us 530-893-4915 or toll free at 800-626-6915 and place your order today!

Sale Items

Looking for an upgrade? More shafts, E-Lift, or a new compu-dobby? Call this month to place your order and we'll give you 10% off! 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

AVL Interview: Linda Lamay

Today we're excited to feature a weaver and the owner of one of the very first Little Weavers. This compact looms is a fully-integrated, computer-crontrolle table loom that features 8, 16, or 24 harness capacity. The Little Weaver has a 16" weaving width and folds right up without losing your warp for easy pick-up-and-go portability. Linda owns a Little Weaver with a 24 shaft loom and has woven many beautiful pieces on her Little Weaver as she travels around the world!

How long have you been weaving, and how did you get started?
I have been weaving for 8 years. Out of the blue one day an old high school friend sent me a tea towel she had woven and I was astounded by the intricacy of the structure and the interplay of the colors. Of course I had no idea how she had managed to do it, and that was the start of my exploration into this wonderfully creative world of weaving.

How long have you had a Little Weaver? What's your favorite aspect of the Little Weaver vs. a larger loom? 
 I have had my Little Weaver for about 2 ½ years. I originally bought it because we spend time in the summer on our boat and travel in our truck camper in the winter, and I wanted the ability to continue my multishaft weaving while away from the studio. Little Weaver is a 24 shaft loom which matches my Technical Dobby Loom. This facilitates the use of Little Weaver as an ideal sampling loom for planning larger projects on my big loom. I enjoy creating tied weave motifs, and using Little Weaver to test drive the designs is extremely helpful. Because she is so much fun to weave on, the samples generally end up the length of scarves!

Do you own any other AVL Looms? How do they compare as far as capabilities to the Little Weaver? 
I weave rather fine yarns. Generally my warps are 20/2 pattern and 30/2 tie down yarns. The Little Weaver can handle these finer yarns without a problem. I can easily explore proportion, design and fiber selection options on the narrower Little Weaver warp, and then proceed to set up my 48” loom correctly. The only limitation with Little Weaver is width, but I can use the fabric produced on Little Weaver to create panels for clothing, as well as scarves. I have found that tying on a new warp is very easy with Little Weaver which helps make changing my mind a lot easier!

Linda's campsite with her weaving studio tent
We know you like to take your Little Weaver with you on the road, any tips or tricks for traveling with the loom? 
We traveled to Baja Mexico with Little weaver last winter. The trip is 2000 miles each way. While in transit, Little Weaver sits in the back seat of our truck. I have a cloth bag cover, and then we strap a large plastic box over the loom. When we got to Mexico, we set up a large sturdy water proof tent for my studio. The Little Weaver was strapped to a table, for security reasons. We used a heavy duty surge protector, which I turned off each night. The tent kept direct sunlight, sand, dust, critters, and moisture away from the loom, and was a wonderful place to weave as well. When traveling on the boat, we find a nook for the loom, and strap her down for the time we spend underway, again covered with her cloth bag. On my previous boat, I spent time weaving in the cockpit, as well as in the cabin. We now have a new (to us) large sailboat that my loom will be traveling on for the first time this summer!
Linda in her weaving studio tent

What's been your favorite project you've made with your Little Weaver? 
My favorite project so far has to be the array of scarves that I wove on the beach in Baja last winter. As each scarf was finished I hung it up in the tent, and by the end of the trip, 9 scarves decorated my work area, a great feeling of accomplishment.
Linda's woven scarves and her Little Weaver

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Tour of AVL Looms!

Would you like a tour of our offices here at AVL USA? We've created a new video on our Youtube Channel with a behind the scenes look at our offices here in Chico, CA! 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

AVL Interview: Sarah Morales of Serendipity Handwoven

Today we have an interview with Sarah Morales, owner of Serendipity Handwoven and a work at home mom. Sarah creates beautiful hand woven baby wraps on her AVL Production Dobby Loom. 

First of all, thank you for tagging us in your posts on Instagram! You’ve been a customer of ours for almost a year now and it was very exciting to discover photos of your work on an AVL loom. How long have you been weaving and how did you get your start?

Thank you so much for contacting me, I really appreciate it!  I have been weaving now for one and a half years.  A friend of mine started taking weaving lessons and just hearing her talk about how much she loved it, sparked a fire in me.  After about a year, the curiosity got the best of me and I met her at the art center where she took lessons.   That day I went home with my first loom, a Leclerc 8 shaft Dorothy table loom.  It didn’t take long before the desire to have a larger loom started.  It only took about 4 weeks and I was on the hunt for a floor loom!  The loom that found its way to me, was a 4 shaft Leclerc Artisat and this is the loom that I spent every night weaving and practicing on for the next 10 months.  During this time, every project had to be a new weave and/or structure and I discovered weaving was something I had to do, it had become a passion for me.

You’ve only been weaving for a year and half? That’s crazy! What are some words of advice/encouragement you can offer to some of the new(er) weavers out there?
Yes, just about a year and a half, I bought my first loom in Sept 2013.  One of the biggest things that helped me to grow, was to realize that when I share work I have done in an online group, I can’t expect that all feedback will be a pat on the back.  Yes, you will receive a lot of positive feedback, but there will be times, when a more experienced weaver will point out something that can be improved.  Always try to be open to receive constructive criticism, and know that in most cases, the pointers are given, so that you might grow, learn and improve your weaving.  I am not part of a guild at this time and didn’t have a teacher nearby to help me, so I had to rely on the community to point me in the right direction, when I made a mistake. 

What do you love most about being a WAHM (work at home mom)? I’m sure there are challenges as well?
Being able to be home with my children to watch them grow and to nurture them has been a huge blessing.  Working full time outside the home with my oldest child, I felt like I missed a lot of her first experiences.  Now that I am working again, I love being able to do what I love, along with having my children by my side.  Being a work at home mom does have its challenges, but the main challenge is making sure there is adequate time to complete orders in a timely manner.  This is usually only a challenge when the children are not feeling well, but sometimes things come up and I am grateful that most customers are very understanding and patient when family life circumstances happen.

Speaking of little ones, can you fill us in on the art of “Babywearing”? What is it?
Using wraps to wear your baby close to you is done with fabric typically between 2.7 meters and 5.2 meters long.  The fabric is wrapped around you and your baby in various styles.  There are many different ways to use your wrap to create a comfortable place for baby to bond with their caretaker.  Using fabrics woven in different fibers and colors creates a beautiful artistic look, while holding baby close.  One of the wonderful benefits of babywearing is being able to have your hands free to do other things while baby is happy or possibly taking a peaceful nap.  I wore each of my children, but it wasn’t until my third child, that I was introduced to the art of wrapping.  It quickly became a passion of mine, it literally changed my life as a parent.  I had three children under the age of 4 years old and being able to care for a newborn hands free, allowed me to focus on all of my children and give them the attention they deserved.

At which point did you think to yourself “Hey, I can make a company out of this”?
I initially started selling scarves, to fund my new found love of weaving.  After about 8 months of weaving and researching all the required regulations for weaving baby wraps, a dream was born.  Within the following few months, my husband saw my growing desire to weave fabric that would help a child be held close, and he decided to invest in my vision.  He helped me to find the loom of my dreams and encouraged me to move forward.  That’s when an AVL mechanical dobby loom found a home in my small studio space.  While I waited for the delivery of the new loom, tester pieces were started on the smaller floor loom, to find the right combinations of fibers and sett and with the arrival of the new AVL loom, I was able to incorporate more weaves to the testing process and once I was happy with all the results, I started sending the wraps to various testers for feedback and eventually moved into the sale of them.

How does your AVL meet your weaving demands? What things are important to a production weaver?
I can honestly say that a year ago, this was all a dream.  I never imagined being able to have the loom that I do.  It has been wonderful weaving on it and really makes weaving more enjoyable.  The live tension is one thing that I love about this loom.  It makes it so easy to adjust to the point of perfection.  Another thing that is essential on this loom, is the ability to change the lift plan easily and quickly.  My work is limited production, so on each warp, 3-4 pieces are made and each piece consists of a different lift plan.

Some inside connections tell me you have a 16 harness loom. Do you ever see yourself needing more shafts?
Most definitely!!  My immediate goals is to upgrade my mechanical dobby to a compu-dobby. Our family moves every few years for my husband's job, but my dream is have a studio space, where I can have another loom (or two!) with more shafts.  Ultimately the loom that I would love to have is a 40 shaft compu-dobby, with all the bells and whistles!   

Thanks so much to Sarah for taking the time to share your weaving journey with us! All of team here at AVL wishes you the best of luck with Serendipity Handwoven and look forward to seeing more of your beautiful creations. To learn more about Sarah and Serendipity Handwoven follow her on Facebook and Instagram and be sure to check out her website:

Friday, March 20, 2015

AVL Interview: Aaron Johnson

Today we take a look inside AVL and meet a member of the team who make looms happen! Aaron Johnson has been with AVL for almost 1 year now and is part of the “next generation” of AVL employees. 

Name: Aaron
Title: Process engineer
University & Degree: Chico State / Mechanical Engineering
Favorite Movie: The Rocketeer

So Aaron, what does “Process Engineer” really mean?
I’m in charge of making sure the way we do things is the best way with respect to cost / time / quality.

Before working at AVL, did you know anything about looms?
Honestly, no. But… I know how to sew and have done a lot of projects so I have basic knowledge of fabrics.  I was a little overwhelmed when I first started because I didn’t know anything about weaving.  I’ve come so far!

Had you ever heard of AVL Looms?
Yes! We used to make parts for AVL in one of my classes at CSU, Chico and so I knew it was a small local company.

What is your favorite part about your job?
Having the freedom to work on projects my own way and to create tools to make things easier around the shops. Part of my job is to make things more efficient so if I can think of something that will make life easier on everyone, I just build it. For example, I built a much needed bench for Little Weaver production.

I have all these cool tools at my disposal so I also can come in on the weekends and build cool things like benches, chairs, tables, coat racks in my spare time. I built my family a couple of nice outdoor lounge chairs for Christmas!

So it seems like you’ve been doing a lot of traveling these days for work, and the rumor is you’d never been out of the country before working with AVL. Until a couple months ago I’d never traveled outside of the country and had just been around the U.S. My first Installation was in Manchester, England and it was my first time out of the country so I got to experience a lot of “firsts” on that trip. It was also my first time in a big city so it was a bit nerve-racking at but everything went pretty well. I’ve also been to Kansas and Dallas so far. I’m going to France this weekend and in a couple months I’m off to Scotland...all the way up into the Shetland Islands!

What’s been your favorite part about traveling so far? 
It’s been cool to get a different perspective on life. Like I said, I’d never been to a big city before so it was quite a culture shock. I’m looking forward to traveling to a country where they don’t speak English. Then I’ll totally be out of my element! When I was in Kansas I lived on a farm for a week with a family who collects their own eggs for breakfast and has a herd of alpacas. I even got to help shovel Alpaca peanuts. In Dallas I went out to a country BBQ (by myself) – had dinner at a bar for the first time and got to talk to the bartender. It was my first time having a steak at a restaurant. I asked for it medium and they brought it back pretty pink but after smothering in horseradish it was good.

How do you handle the pressure being the only guy on installs? What if something goes wrong? 
First of all, our customers have always been super nice and accommodating, so that helps tremendously. Then if I have questions or can’t get something to work I just cal Kim! (Kim Mitchell is AVL’s head engineer, and has been with the company for over 35 years). Kim has every loom drawing in his head so all I have to do is call him and he walks me through troubleshooting any issues. It’s really awesome to have such a knowledgeable resource!

Sounds like you’re having a fun time at AVL, but if you could do an install anywhere in the world where would it be?
New Zealand for sure! I know I’d have to take an extra week off of work so I could stay and explore.

All the photos are from Aaron's Instagram feed. You can follow along on Aaron's adventures by following him, @felinefinemeow and we often repost his photos on @avllooms. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

AVL Workshops

Here at AVL Looms we hold workshops several times a year.  Our next series of workshops will be taught be renowned weaver and teacher Jannie Taylor. AVL Workshops are about more than just weaving, it's a full weaving experience...a weavcation! 

What are you waiting for?
Jannie has been weaving since the 1970s. She loves the interplay of color, structure, and fiber that are only available to the hand weaver. Jannie teaches at AVL as well as around the country for guilds and conferences. Her philosophy as a teacher is to meet each student at their own level and to help them achieve their goals in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. 

Here's what you can expect when you sign up for an AVL Workshop: 

Learn from the best!
Get hands on Experience!
Get a chance to work with multiple AVL looms and accessories.
Tour AVL – See how the looms are made and meet the crew!
Meet new friends.

Here's a list of our upcoming classes: 
May 18-20, 2015--Maximizing Your AVL with  Jannie Taylor
May 21-22, 2015--WeavePoint Tied Weaves with Jannie Taylor
Sept 28-30, 2015--Maximizing Your AVL with Jannie Taylor
Oct 1-2, 2015--Weavepoint for Twill with Jannie Taylor

Plan your trip today!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Winter Sale

We're hosting a huge sale here at AVL Looms throughout the month of February. We'd love to help you get your weaving studio all set up, and we have lots of great deals to help you get started!

Looms on sale:

  • Our Artisan Loom is 15% Off all month long! 
  • Save 15% on the AVL Home Loom
  • All our used looms are 20% off this month. 

AVL Artisan Loom
AVL Home Loom
Accessories are also on sale this month, save 15% on all warping equipment with the coupon code: WARP15. 

Once you have all your equipment you'll need something to weave with, and all Swans Island Yarns are on sale for 35% off! Just use the coupon code: YARN35.

Friday, January 23, 2015

TEL Loom

We've just finished building our second Technical Education Loom (TEL) and are proud to say there's no other loom like it in the world. At 8.5' tall and weighing close to 900 lbs., this custom Jacquard loom does 3D weaving (up to 1/2" thick) and will be used to train workers in the aerospace industry who make parts for jet engines in planes. Its custom features include:
  • Rapier system designed specifically to work with technical fibers (fiberglass and Kevlar)
  • 1200 hooks with 8" weaving space (150 EPI)
  • Push-button shed (no treadles, no foot pedal)
  • Digital automatic warp advance 
  • Digital control panel
  • CE mark for sale in EU countries
Who wants one?