Friday, December 15, 2017

A-Series Manual Updated and Holiday Hours

A-Series Manual Updated

We are pleased to announce that our A-Series assembly and weaving manuals have been revised and are available for download now!  A special thanks to Amy for all of her hard work on this project.  To see the updated version, please see the Manuals, Instructions & Info of our AVL Online Library here.

Holiday Availability

Our front offices will be closed from Friday, December 22 through Monday, January 1 for the Holidays, and will return all calls and e-mails as soon as possible after they return on Tuesday, January 2.  From all of us at AVL Looms to you, Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

110 Yards of Towels and Patent Denters Have Returned!

40th Anniversary Towels--The Finale

It's official, the towels are done!  All 110 yards of them...  Whoa, that was a lot of fabric. Let's take a look back to where we left-off last spring, with threading the project.

Jannie and Melody working together to thread the IDL.

Preparing the Loom

Threading went fairly smoothly, with Jannie and Melody completing it in a couple of days while they were here earlier this year.  Having two people definitely made it go easier--Jannie sat inside the loom with her laptop on a stand and handed the threads through to Melody. The draft included a 16 shaft Echo & Iris inspired design, and 8 shafts of letter design.

Here you can see the selvage roller with blue thread attached to the track and mount.  We had to cut two ends off of our left selvage, seen here winding around two empty cones, and had a loose thread mid-warp which we weighted with a screwdriver.

Over the next few weeks, work progressed slowly, as time was available.  Once we got it tied-on and ready for testing, we discovered we had a missing thread mid-warp.  To remedy the issue, the track and mount was put on the rear of the loom and a Selvage Roller was attached.  We used the roller to slowly release under tension the yarn needed for the missing end.

Time to Weave!

With the help of our engineer Kim, we were finally able to get the automatic cloth advance dialed-in, and we were up and weaving!  Due to staff scheduling conflicts, weaving time was sporadic over the next couple of months, happening in small intervals as time was available.

To keep things rolling along when we did have time to run the loom, we used an Automatic Bobbin Winder to wind the pirns for the flyshuttles.  It took a little finessing to get the tension just right with our 10/2 mercerized cotton weft, but Jannie and Scott were able to get it figured out pretty quickly.  We also made use of a set of Rotary Temples to keep our edges nice and neat as weaving progressed.

Rotary Temples helped to minimize draw-in


It wasn't necessarily smooth sailing through the whole process, and we hit some bumps along the way. 

When winding-on, there was some variation in the tension on the outer two sections.  To compensate, we had to cut-off after short runs as we started up, and there was a lot of combing the warp back from the heddles as it advanced. 

Oops!  Perhaps the warp tension was a *tad* too high...
Early-on, we also had a problem with the separation roller due to user errror.  Drawing from my previous weaving experience using a non-AVL loom with a locking break, I fell-back on an ill-advised, brute-force fix by continuing to crank up the warp tension to adjust the pick density and to attempt to control some unwieldy ends. The ever increasing, overzealous tension resulted in the inner rod bending on the separation roller. Once this issue was discovered, the rod was replaced and Kim showed me how to finesse the pick density by adjusting the automatic cloth advance.

We couldn't have done this without help, thank you!

We would like to again thank Shuttles & Needles for graciously providing the yarn, Eleni for letting us run the towels on her loom (which we understand has been recently named Cone Slayer), Melody for coming to help with the set up work and Jannie for setup and finishing (each towel was finished by Jannie and she made some lovely, matching hangtags too).  Also, thanks are due to our staff who worked on this project--Scott, Kim, Aaron, Amy for their help in getting the loom prepped and keeping it running towards the end as our deadline approached.

Trimming towels while the IDL runs nearby.

Weaving 110 yards was an adventure, a fabulous learning experience and something that I wouldn't shy-away from doing again.  Thanks for following along!

Happy Weaving!

Marketing Manager

Patent Denters 

We are pleased to announce that we have new patent denters now in stock. Now offered in two sizes (10-14 dent and 15-20 dent), this updated version still makes sleying your reed a breeze as it travels from dent to dent as you work. To watch our video on how to use the patent denter, please click here.  This video features our old model of patent denter, however the technique is much the same.

These amazing tools have been added to our Holiday Sale here--be sure to enter the code 10OFFDEC for 10% off your eligible items at checkout!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

EBW Auto Tensioner and AVL Weaving School January Classes, and CONVERGENCE 2018

Auto-Tensioner for the Electric Bobbin Winder

Tired of yarn burn on your fingers and hands? Tired of wearing that glove? Tired of inconsistent tension on your bobbins?  Try adding the Auto-Tensioner to your AVL Electric Bobbin Winder!  Easy to install, this small, adjustable tensioner mounts on the Thread Guide Assembly to give you an effortless way to fill your bobbins, spools and pirns comfortably and efficiently.  Click here for a link to a short video we posted a couple weeks ago on our Facebook page, featuring the Auto-Tensioner.  This item is one of many discounted in our Holiday Sale--click here to see what items are included and be sure to use the code 10OFFDEC at checkout to get 10% off eligible items!

AVL Weaving School--January Classes

There is still some availability in our upcoming offerings of Maximize Your AVL on January 22-24 and WeavePoint for Echo & Iris on January 25-26, both taught by the incomparable Jannie Taylor here at our headquarters in beautiful Chico, CA.  We hope you'll join us!

Convergence 2018

We've booked our rooms and are looking forward to Convergence 2018 in Reno, NV!  We're thrilled that it's practically in our backyard this year, and we hope to see you there!!

Holiday Office Closure

Our front office will be temporarily closed from Tuesday, November 21 through Sunday, November 26 for the holiday.  We will reopen on Monday, November 27 and will return all phone calls and e-mails as soon as we're able.  From all of us to you, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Congrats to our Partners Shuttles & Needles and WDL Assembly Videos Released

Congratulations Shuttles & Needles on the Studio Inauguration

Please join us in congratulating Shuttles & Needles, our partners in India, on the inauguration of their new weaving studio!  

On September 9, Shuttles & Needles welcomed people of all ages to attend their new studio and try their hand at weaving, wet felting and needle felting.  Attendees also had a chance to try out the studio's Workshop Dobby Loom (seen below in action).

Traditionally in India, weaving has been practiced only by professional artisan weavers.  By offering drop-in hours and workshops at their new studio, they hope to demonstrate how accessible and enjoyable these activities can be for everyone, no matter their age or profession.  

Congratulations Shuttles & Needles and best wishes to you in your endeavor to share weaving and other fiber arts in your community members!

Workshop Dobby Loom Assembly Videos

We are pleased to announce that we now have some quick, WDL assembly videos available on YouTube here.  These are meant to supplement the manual and act as on-demand quick-reference guides.  For ease of use, they are broken-out into sections and have text overlaid describing each step.  We hope to make more assembly videos available over time, and the A-Series will be our next release once editing is complete.  Thank you Amy for all of your hard work on this project!

We still have a couple of WDL's available in our Holiday Flash Sale--these two looms are 10% off and, if ordered by mid-November, will ship in December!  Contact us today to build your dream WDL and have it in time for the holidays!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WeavePoint Update and WDL Flash Sale


We are pleased to announce that the publisher of WeavePoint has released a small update.  This update adds letters to the list of available symbols in "Yarn Info", expanding your options.  A few other minor adjustments have also been made.

To upgrade from WeavePoint 8, simply revisit the download link previously provided via e-mail.  If you are unable to track down that e-mail, please contact your AVL sales rep here  so we may assist you.

To upgrade from WeavePoint 7 or older, please visit our e-shop to purchase the major upgrade(s).

Workshop Dobby Looms Added to the Holiday Sale (Limit 4)

Great news--we've added four Workshop Dobby Looms to our Holiday Sale at 10% off!   The best part--If ordered by mid-November, these will be ready to ship in time for the holidays in December!!!  To take advantage of this opportunity, please contact our sales department here and they'll work with you to design the WDL of your dreams!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Updated Warping Wheel Crossmaker Instructions Available and 2017 Holiday Sale Starts Now!

Updated Warping Wheel Crossmaker Instructions

Amy is hard at work updating our manuals and instruction packets. The instructions for the Warping Wheel Crossmaker is the latest to be updated, available for download in our AVL Online Library.  Up next, WDL assembly videos and A-Series Manual!

2017 Holiday Sale Starts NOW!

Our holiday sale is up and running!  Similar to years past, we have a variety of smaller items ranging from end feed handshuttles and bobbins, to weaving books and heddle hooks.  We also have a limited number of ready-to-ship accessories to offer this year, including Warping Wheels, Electric Bobbin Winders and Tension Boxes (limit 5 each). To see what's included in this year's sale, please click here and be sure to use the code 10OFFDEC at checkout to take 10% off eligible items.  Sale ends Wednesday, December 13.

To help kick-off our holiday sale, we are giving away one $50 gift card to our e-shop on our Facebook page.  Please click here to visit our Facebook page to learn how you can enter to win!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CE Certification, Manual Updates, Class Availability and Summer Break

CE Certification for Certain Loom Models

AVL Looms Inc. is pleased to announce that we have completed the requirements for our latest CE Certifications for our A-Series Looms, V-Series Looms, Studio Dobby Looms and Workshop Dobby Looms.  We look forward to continuing to work with our European partners and customers to deliver our certified, state-of-the-art looms.

Fully assembled WDL (video how-to coming soon)

Now Available: Revised Workshop Dobby Loom and V-Series Manuals

Amy has been hard at work revising our Workshop Dobby Loom and V-Series manuals, and they are ready for use!  Available for download under the "Manuals, Instructions, and Info" section of our AVL Online Library, these manuals have been thoroughly reworked through the assembly portion,  providing more straightforward and detailed instructions.  The V-Series manual is available in English and French, and the WDL is available in English (the French translation will be up soon). Keep an eye out in the next couple of months for an A-Series revision as well as video instructions, both of which are in the process of being edited.

September Classes Have Availability

Whether you're looking to learn how to use your AVL loom more efficiently or how to further develop your design abilities in WeavePoint, Jannie Taylor can help!  There are still some seats available in our September Maximizing Your AVL and WeavePoint for Twill classes.  Class descriptions are here, and enrollment will remain open for one more week.  Hope you can join us!

Office Closure for Summer Break 8/2-8/20

Our front office will close temporarily for a summer break from Wednesday, August 2 through Sunday, August 20.  This is a new thing we're trying during our slowest month. Please note that we will not be taking technical service or sales phone calls during this time. We will monitor and answer emails on a limited basis. We will also continue taking orders on our website. Unfortunately for them, our manufacturing team will have to remain hard at work building looms. Please plan accordingly. Have an awesome summer!

Friday, July 7, 2017

2018 and 2019 Class Schedule Announced and Flash Sale on Electric Bobbin Winders

Jannie Taylor and Melody Ruth beaming a warp on a sectional beam

2018 and 2019 Class Schedule

We are thrilled to announce our class schedule for 2018 and 2019.  We hope you'll join instructor extraordinaire Jannie Taylor at our headquarters in gorgeous Chico, California for a course or two.  Classes offered include Maximizing Your AVL, WeavePoint for Echo and Iris, WeavePoint for Tied Weaves, WeavePoint for Layers, WeavePoint for Lace and WeavePoint for Twill.  For available dates and more information on our course offerings, please visit  

Want to enroll in a course, but don't want to wait until next year?  We still have spaces available in our Maximizing Your AVL and WeavePoint for Twill this September--we hope you'll join us!

Electric Bobbin Winder Flash Sale

We have a handful of Electric Bobbin Winders here, that are ready to ship! Be one of the first five to purchase, and receive 15% off* by using code EBW15 at checkout.

*this discount cannot be combined with other offers/discounts

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Weaving Partners and ANWG Demo Loom Sale

Partners in Weaving--Maria Davila & Eduardo Portillo

We'd like to offer our congratulations to AVL users Maria Davila and Eduardo Portillo, who have been selected for a Fellowship with the Smithsonian.  What an amazing opportunity, and surely an incredible experience!  Please find their announcement below:
Venezuelan textile artists Maria Davila & Eduardo Portillo are off to do a Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (CHSDM) and National Museum of African Art (NMAfA)
They will conduct research on ways of visualization of the universe andthe creation of imagined Cosmos and how this has been perceived and interpreted in textiles, prints, drawings, objects and graphics. They will explore the collections of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and the National Museum of African Art to enrich their actual work focused on imagined worlds.
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park. On July 1, 1836, Congress accepted the legacy bequeathed to the nation by James Smithson and pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 138 million, including more than 127 million specimens and artifacts at the National Museum of Natural History.

ANWG Demo Loom Sale

We'd love to sell our last remaining demo loom (a 40" V-Series loom with 40 Harness, E-Lift and CDIV), so we're doing something outrageous--how's 20% off list price** sound? For more info, please contact our sales team at Sales (at) avlusa (dot) com.
**Buyer must take delivery at ANWG, and GST/PST applies.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

ANWG 2017 Announcement (and a Pre-Sale for Attendees!)

Treadle Lightly
ANWG 2017 NW Weavers' Conference
Friday, June 30-Sunday, July 2

We are thrilled to announce that we'll be in attendance at ANWG 2017 in Victoria later this month! The Market Hall is located in the McKinnon Gymnasium on the University of Victoria's campus, and is open to the public.  We invite you to come by our booth to check-out our looms and accessories in person and our expert staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Already know you need some things from AVL and want to save on shipping charges?  You're in luck!  Place your order** now for in-stock items, and we'll bring them with us to the conference.  As an added bonus, conference attendees receive a 10% discount!

A list of some popular in-stock items can be found here, including Warping Wheels, Electric Bobbin Winders and End Feed Shuttles.  If you do not see the item(s) you're looking for, please contact our sales department and we'll do our best to accommodate your request, production schedule allowing. To place your order, e-mail sales at avlusa dot com, and mention that you'll pick up the item at ANWG.

Demonstration looms will be available at 15% off
**picture for illustration purposes, not actual looms shown**

We will also have two demonstration looms with us, which are available for pre-purchase** at 15% off (buyer must take delivery on Monday, July 3 after the show ends and will be responsible for transportation from the site).  Specifications below:

To inquire about one of our beautiful demonstration looms we'll have available, please e-mail sales at avlusa dot com.

We look forward to connecting with conference attendees at the end of the month!

**5% GST and 7% PST will apply to items delivered at the conference

Friday, May 19, 2017

40" A-Series Flash Sale

We have one 40" A-Series Loom that's partially built and looking for a new home!  This loom is offered at 15% off list price (until June 2, 2017), and can be customized to your liking.  You can choose from a bottom-slung or overhead beater, 16 or 24 harnesses, and can decide if you'd like one or two beams (plain or sectional).  It's estimated that this will be ready to ship in August.  Please contact our sales department at sales at avlusa dot com or (530) 893-4915 x232.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Compu-Dobby IV, 4.5 and Little Weaver Firmware Update

The Problem
The symptom is that the Compu-Dobby will on, rare occasion, not advance to the next pick. The failure to advance occurs randomly, but typically once every several hundred picks. On older Compu-Dobby IV & 4.5s this may appear as the next lift will lift nothing (positive dobby) or all harnesses (negative dobby). With newer Compu-Dobbys the error will manifest itself as the next lift will repeat the last lift for both positive and negative dobbys. The electronic noise originates outside the Compu-Dobby on the USB line or interference induced on the sensor lines. 

The Solution
AVL has released new firmware that reduces the chance of noise affecting Compu-Dobby operation. The new firmware uses more advanced error avoidance techniques and theoretically reduces the chances for errors by at least an order of magnitude. In practice, the new firmware appears to altogether eliminate the errors as we have not encountered the error after many thousands of picks.

How to Upgrade
If your Compu-Dobby IV has never exhibited this issue, we do not recommend updating firmware at this time. For those that have observed the issue, you will need to send us either the processor or the Compu-Dobby for updating.  AVL will perform the firmware update for free, but the customer must pay for any shipping related costs. Please contact AVL technical support here to receive return authorization prior to send anything to AVL.

Compu-Dobby 4.5 and Little Weaver customers may update their firmware using AVLUpdate and by downloading the latest version of the firmware from the AVL website in our library, with a direct link to the download here. Please note that all Compu-Dobby 4.5 sold after August 2016 have the newest firmware already installed.  

There are two compatibility considerations for this update. WeavePoint requires version or newer and Fiberworks requires version Silver (PC) or Silver 1.2.3 (Mac). Please contact AVL technical support to update WeavePoint, and Fiberworks directly to update Fiberworks. All versions of AVLDrive will work with the new firmware.

Monday, February 27, 2017

40th Anniversary Towels and the *New* Revolution Counters

40th Anniversary Towels--Sampling and Warping 110 Yards

Have you ever woven a 110 yard warp?  Neither have we.  For our 40th Anniversary we decided to challenge ourselves and our products a little.  Join us as we experience the highs and lows that come with taking on a project of this magnitude!

10/2 Mercerised Cotton from Shuttles and Needles

Early last month we received our boxes of yarn from Shuttles and Needles in India.  The 10/2 mercerized cotton was soft and shined in the sun.  The colors were bright and vivid.  Right away we shipped some to Jannie Taylor so she could whip up some samples on her loom, as we wanted to see how the structure and sett would work out in real life.  

Samples woven by Jannie Taylor, Yarn from Shuttles and Needles

Once sampling was complete, it was time to get to work on the actual warp! We had the pleasure of hosting Jannie Taylor and Melody Ruth earlier this month, when they came to measure and beam our 110 yard towel warp.  The 10/2 mercerised cotton we had to work with came in 200g cones.  To facilitate speedy warping via cone racks, most of the 200g cones were split in half so there'd be enough for the pattern's requirements. Empty cones and pirns were used to hold the yarn, and our Electronic Bobbin Winder with Auto-Tensioner and Yardage Counter were used to measure and wind.

Winding cones using Jannie's homemade attachment on our
Electronic Bobbin Winder, Auto-Tensioner and Yardage Counter
Once the cones and pirns were ready, a track and mount system, cone racks and a tension box were used.  Due to the high sett, one and a half cone racks were used to accommodate all of the yarn needed for the 2" sections.

Yarn ready to be wound-on
It's coming together now!  
Sleying the reed on the tension box

Jannie adjusting the settings on the tension box

Winding the warp on went surprisingly quickly, thanks in part to the revolution counter Jannie and Melody used (more info below). Most sections took about 15 minutes to wind-on!

No counting was needed, since one of our
Revolution Counters was used to monitor progress.
Overall, the beaming process went relatively smoothly aside from one hiccup (the final section got a little wily and jumped the hoop a few times, so it had to be re-wound).  

Jannie observes while Melody winds-on the final section

We are incredibly grateful to Shuttles and Needles for supplying the superb yarn and to Jannie Taylor and Melody Ruth for their time and expertise.  In our next project update, we'll look at how the warp was threaded and how testing goes on the IDL, as we get closer to 110 yards of 40th Anniversary Towels.  Until then, happy weaving!

*New* Revolution Counters

Our reworked Revolution Counters are better than ever!  Featuring a redesigned look and updated with a digital counter, these now fit on any AVL Loom with a track and mount system.  Simply bolt the revolution counter to the track and mount arm, apply the magnet to the beam's drum, turn it on and you're ready to go! Here's a link to a brief video showing one in action.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Floor Model and Pre-Owned Items (Plus, Pre-Owned Loom SALE!)

Did you know that we carry a variety of floor model and pre-owned looms and weaving accessories? Some items come to us as trade-ins, others as a part of a buyback.  Stock is always changing and ranges from warping equipment, to small accessories and, of course, looms. Currently we even have a couple of ready-to-ship Walt Turpening benches at 20% off retail!

Our rotating stock of floor model and pre-owned accessories can be found in our Clearance section here. Looking for a used loom?  You're in luck--we have a ton in stock and they are available to peruse online here.  Our Pre-Owned Looms are on sale for 15% off from now until Friday, March 24, 2017 with code SPRINGCLEAN.

Friday, January 27, 2017

New Product Alert--Heddle Hooks

After a hiatus lasting several years, we are pleased to once again offer heddle hooks.  Offered in four different sizes, 5in (designed specifically for fine thread), 6in, 7.5in, and 10in, these hooks are perfect for threading heddles.  Featuring a 3in wooden handle and sturdy metal shafts, these are durable yet lightweight tools. These can be found under Warping Accessories and are available now!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

AVL Looms' 40th Anniversary

It's hard to believe, but this year is our 40th Anniversary!  Join us over the course of the year, as we celebrate 40 years of innovation.  We'll look back on where we've come from and forward to where we're headed (including some new, revolutionary product releases later this year).  

To commemorate this anniversary, we'll be weaving limited edition AVL towels on one of our Industrial Dobby Looms. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and here on the blog as we document this process step by step. 
40th Anniversary Towel Design

We'd like to thank Jannie Taylor for this lovely design.  Constructed in WeavePoint 8, it's based on some of the design concepts found in Marian Stubenitsky's amazing book Weaving with Echo and Iris.  If you'd like to learn more about these concepts, Jannie Taylor has a course coming up in April and there is still space available (more info here).  We also have Weaving with Echo and Iris in stock here if you're looking for a copy.

More to come soon...  Until then, happy weaving!

Friday, January 6, 2017

WeaveMaker 8 Obsolete

The publisher has announced the end of product life for WeaveMaker 8, and will no longer be supporting it. 

Still running WeaveMaker 8 on your Mac?  Upgrade today to ensure your product is supported!  Upgrades to WeaveMaker 9 are available at our online shop for $117 per license/seat.

While WeaveMaker 9 is not available for Windows users, we are pleased to be able to offer the opportunity to transition to the recently released WeavePoint 8 for the promotional price of $234 (a $142 savings) and $99 for each additional seat.  To take advantage of this promotional pricing, see our special listing here. This promotional price is available until February 17, 2017.