The History of Lap Weaving by John Alan



This is about the beginning of Love and Money Looms and how it got its name.. In late 1974 my mother just back from a trailer caravan trip through the south showed me a very colorful doily made from yarn. She said that they were very popular at the craft shows they put on in various towns where their group camped on their travels. She showed me how some of the natives in the hills of South Carolina had made make shift looms (they called them racks) out of a sheet of plywood with nails as pegs. There were no directions on how to weave and tie the yarn on to the looms just show and tell. Being the son of two people who were born entrepreneurs I ventured into several craft stores to see if there might be a market for these colorful pads. When I laid them out on the counter to show the store owner, customers started asking me where I got them and how they were made. I realized then that there was a market and I would have to create directions and figure out how to make a loom to sell. I made the directions by hand drawing each step from the start. Later we used photographs to show each step. The looms were made out of two layers of wood lathe glued and stapled together with brad nails and 1 inch long plastic anchors as sleeves. I coined the phrase "Love and Money" because what people made from these looms were for gifts to loved ones and were sold at craft shows for extra money. I gambled on placing a small ad in the mail order section of the February 1975 issue of Women’s Day Magazine. On Feb 15th I received 17 orders which increased to several hundred per day as the circulation increased. My wife and two sons along with one retired gentleman friend joined me in producing the looms in the basement of our small house just northwest of Ann Arbor Michigan. We did it this way until we were unable to make them fast enough to fill the orders in time. Knowing that the business was good I had injection molding tools made to mass produce the loom sets. The business grew over the years to the point where we had 22 loyal employees and were selling many other craft items as well as producing a unique craft magazine. Finally in 1987 inflation and the cost of advertising made it unprofitable to continue so I retired early. With the advent of cheaper advertising via the internet and my desire to be productive once again In the Summer of 2008 I brought back the names that were trademarked under the John Alan Enterprises Inc banner “ Love and Money Looms” and “Lap Weaving” by John Alan and began producing the looms out of wood. In September of 2012 we had new molds made to reproduce the hexagon shaped looms using a new plastic material that we guarantee against breakage for any reason.We are still producing the square sets made from beautiful red oak and white pine wood. I invite you to check out what we are doing by visiting our web pages at “loveandmoneylooms.net” or our eBay store “Love and Money Looms by John Alan”. Happy Weaving.