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Published: 10 November 2018

By Andy Ross

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It has been a somewhat stressful week! Alvin-the-loom was sick...

Alvin, our industrial loom which weaves the fabrics in the studio, has been off-colour for a little while. Over the past few weeks we have had an engineer friend in (thanks, Donald) to help sort things out and we have changed things over, mended parts, straightened things up and generally had a bit of a clean-up. Unfortunately in one of those change-one-thing-it-affects-something-else scenarios, we have had to swap a few things out including a new piston to fire the shuttles across the warp which comes from America! We finally managed to get a piston from the UK and now Alvin is working much better. 

Of course, these things always happen at the worst possible moment. We have been weaving an order for a company which has been setup in London and about which we have been sworn to Total Secrecy! The cloth we have been making is lovely - one of The Shetland Tweed Company designs with different colouring - and we were in the middle of warping up when this series of mishaps happened. We finished warping and then weaving though by working early and late, and by gradually sorting things out on the loom as we went. Well done, Alexa, for persevering. Great teamwork!

Once we have permission from our southern friends we will share what we have been doing. And we are Very Glad that Alvin is feeling better. There is now going to be a maintenance contract in place...