Here is a typescript of the tie-up instructions that would have come with a new Bergman Loom circa 1969.  The guidelines for lamm and treadle height are not very effective for earlier Bergman looms like mine.  I’ve written a post with my own hints (including diagrams and measurements), which you can see here:

Getting acquainted with your Bergman Loom

To unfold the loom:

1. Open the loom.

2. Remove bar which holds the treadles and place in position at lower end of the front wings.

3.Pull cloth beam forward in its slot to its lowest position. (The cloth beam is the one at the front with the canvas apron and is the one on which the cloth is wound as it is woven.) When in place at the bottom of the slot, engage the dog which prevents it from turning backward, and insert locking pins hanging inside each front wing.

4. Remove breast beam from its place at the top of loom and place in dove-tailed tops of the front wings.

5. Remove back beam from its position directly over the warp beam and place it in position near the top of the rear wings, putting the pegs in the ends of the beam into the holes provided for them. Replace the locking pins which will pass through the top of the wing and through the beam to the bottom. (Observe that back beam is marked “L” and “R” near the holes and must be so placed that “L” is on the left and “R” is on the right.


To fold the loom:

1. Remove the back beam from its position in the rear wings and put in place immediately over the warp beam. Fold the wings flat against the rear of the loom.

2. Remove the breast beam from its position in the dove-tails at top of front wings and place on the pegs at the top of the loom immediately in front of the jack box (or rollers if yours is a counterbalanced model.)

3. Remove locking pins from cloth beams and slide cloth beam up and all the way back in its slot.

4. Lift treadle bar and treadles from their weaving position and place in position at the top of the frame in front of the cloth beam. (It may be necessary to push the ends of the treadles back as you do this.) Fold the front wings against the front of the loom.


As it is impossible to satisfy all weavers, we do not attempt to furnish patterns for use in threading your loom. You will find directions for threading hundreds of different patterns in the many weaving books available today. A good weaving book is almost essential for all weavers and a few of the better ones are listed below for you convenience. All or most of them are usually available from us.


Foot-Power Loom Weaving by Edward F. Worst (no longer in print but your Library may have a copy- worth looking for.)

The Shuttlecraft Book of American Handweaving by Mary M. Atwater

New Key to Weaving by Mary E. Black

A Handweaver’s Pattern Book by Marguerite P, Davison (four-harness patterns)

The Joy of Hand Weaving by Osma Gallinger Tod

Contemporary Handweaving by Ruth Overman and Dula Smith

Step-by-Step Weaving by Nell Znamierowski (paper back)


 Getting Acquainted With Your BERGMAN Loom Sheet #2


The warp comes from the bottom of the warp beam, over the back beam, around and forward under it, then through the heddles and reed and over the breast beam, fastening to the apron on the cloth beam. This is a Contra-march loom. The warp will be level between the back beam and breast beam, neither rising or sinking when the loom is at rest with the jacks locked. From this point some of the harnesses rise and the rest sink in making the shed. It uses two sets of lamms to do this, also a double set of jacks, one for each end of the harnesses. The lower lamms tied to the treadles are the ones which raise the harnesses by pulling down the inner ends of the jacks, raising the outer ends of these jacks and raising the harnesses with them. The upper bank of lamms tied to the treadles are the ones which pull the other harnesses down at the same time. (Of course no upper and lower lamm for the same harness can be tied to the same treadle.)

In most cases where the tie-up is shown in a draft by crosses only we put the cords in the upper lamms and the blank spaces in the tie-up would go into the lower ones. Some tie-ups show both crosses and dots in which case we usually put the crosses in the upper lamms and the dots in the lower ones. We might reverse this procedure (dots in the upper lamms, crosses in the lower) if we wanted the other side of the piece being woven to show while weaving.

We use string heddles which are much lighter and quieter than the metal heddles. They are made of strong seine twine and take up less space in the loom than metal heddles with their frames. As a result the BERGMAN loom is built lower than would be possible with metal heddles and using the contra-march system. Also, the loom works easier with the lighter harnesses, there being less weight to raise in raising the harnesses. We also find them easier to thread as they eliminate the use of a hook for threading the heddles. It is much easier just to place the thread up against the flexible eye of the string heddle with one finger of one hand and pull it on through with the other thereby eliminating the need for a threading hook. String heddles will not fray a linen warp as metal heddles will and are, in fact, much easier on any warp.



When using less than the full amount of harnesses in the loom, always use those which are closest to the front of the loom next to the beater frame. You will get a better shed from these than from the rear harnesses, as less of the shed will be lost on the back side of the beater.

When adjusting the tie-up cords, always keep the jacks locked with the metal rods furnished for them and lock the lower heddle sticks with the two long heavy wire rods (in the box at the top of the loom) by putting them through the holes in the ends of the lower heddle sticks. The heddles should be adjusted so the warp, when tight, will come through the center of the eyes in the heddles. If you find some of the heddle sticks uneven it may be necessary to put the cord from the ends of the jacks to the heddle sticks an extra turn around the hooks in the ends of the upper heddle sticks in order to make them even.

Next the cords from the lower heddle sticks must be put in and adjusted to the upper lamms. These should be adjusted so the upper lamms will point upward about two inches or so at the ends. If some do not it may be necessary to put these cords an extra turn around the hook in the lamm to get them even.


                           Getting Acquainted With Your BERGMAN Loom – Sheet #3


The lower lamms should be level when they are properly adjusted and the jacks are locked. Here again it may be necessary to take an extra turn around the hooks in the inner ends of the jacks in order to make the lower lamms level. In putting the wire in it must be BEHIND the harness to which it belongs and BEHIND the upper lamm also. In this way the wire from the front jacks will be behind the front heddle sticks and the front upper lamm, and the wire from the second jacks will be behind the second heddle sticks and lamm, etc. If this is not done the wire will bind the harnesses.

Next come the cords from the lamms to the treadles. The cords from the front upper lamms must be in FRONT of the front lower lamm, etc., and this, too, is important. Then the cords to the treadles must be adjusted. All of the cords to each treadle must be of the same tension. If some are looser than others it will cause trouble. The cords from the lamms to the treadles are adjusted and secured at the treadles with the snitch knot so are easily adjusted to get an even shed.

In order to get the treadles all even and have the cords from the lamms to the treadles of equal tension we take a strong straight piece of lumber and place it across the tops of the treadles but under the frame right next to the bottom hinges on the front wings (if your loom is the double-folding type; on non-folding looms it will be just about at the fastened end of the treadles.) The top part of your beater can be used for this. It will only take a moment to remove it and use it there. This will be placed in such a way that it will not permit the treadles to raise more than about 5-1.2″ at the free end. In this way the free end of the treadles will be just a trifle higher than the cross piece at the rear of the loom. ( If the treadles are higher than this the lamms will come in contact with the cords where they fasten to the treadles when the lamms come down and the treadles go up. If they are lower, the treadles will hit the floor before opening the shed as wide as it should be.) With the beater frame in place over the lamms as directed, proceed to pull each of the cords from the lamms to the treadles through the snitch knot in the treadle loop so they are just snug and with the same tension.

           When properly adjusted this loom will weave anything that can be woven on a loom of this size and with this number of harnesses. Remembering that the more harnesses in use the harder the loom will work, you will find that this loom will work easier than others of equal width and number of harnesses. If the harnesses do not come down evenly they should be adjusted so they will. A properly adjusted loom is a joy to use, but it is next to impossible to use one not in adjustment. You will learn to adjust the loom best by doing it when it needs it. Do not hesitate to try. You will find it easier than you thought.

You will find two hooks, one at each side of the loom, under the box at the top of the loom. We use these to hang the lease sticks from while threading the warp ends through the heddles, hanging the lease sticks a little higher than the heddles with the warp ends hanging down from the lease sticks. This makes it easier to see the threads which are to be put into the heddles and to put the correct threads into the heddles.  (See Warping instructions.)



The Yarn Barn, Inc.

Route 4, Box 660

Poulsbo, Washington 98370

9-25-69 grs

Retyped 9/27/1997


34 Responses to ““Getting Acquainted With Your Bergman Loom” ca. 1969”

  1. Karin Says:

    Wonderful posts! Thank you so much.

    Can you offer some guidance on treadle tie-ups for twill weaves on a Bergman?


  2. Trapunto Says:

    You’re welcome. It all depends on what sort of Bergman and what sort of twill. I’d need a bit more information. Have you woven before? Have you woven before on your Bergman? Are you having particular problems?

  3. Ginny Says:

    I am looking at buying a Bergman loom. They are asking $600.00 for it. It appears to be fully functioning, but as a begining weaver I do not know for sure. I think it is very cool that this brand originates in this state. My questions are, 1. Is that a good price 2. How easy is it to get one of these looms tuned up since they are no longer being made?

  4. trapunto Says:

    Sorry for the late reply, Ginny; I have been away from the computer. I would say that is a very good price if your loom has all its pieces. My advice would be to find a book with a diagram of a countermarche loom and simply take your time, holding the diagram up to the loom, go through piece by piece, see if it looks like it has all the beams, whether the ratchets work, and whether it looks like it is on the square (not warped, or sagging, or broken in any of the wooden parts). Or even better, if you have a weaver friend who has been at it long enough to know a little about looms, take them with you. Dings and dirt don’t matter, and as long as all the wood and metal is present, the fabric and string parts can be replaced if you are motivated and don’t mind that sort of problem solving. As far as I know there is no one who will “tune up” a loom for other people; it tends to be something weavers do for themselves as part of the process of learning to use the loom. I have talked about this in some of my other posts. If the loom is still available and looks good I’d say go for it. You can always sell it to someone else if you change your mind. Good luck!

  5. Mary Says:

    I have a 12H 45″ Bergman that I no longer have room for and would like to sell. It grieves me because I’ve spent hours weaving on it. I’m in the Hood River Valley of Oregon.

    I am the person who re-typed the “Getting Acquainted….” in 1997. Several friends shared bits and pieces of instructions and I retyped them in an effort to have one coherent document that I have since passed on to anyone who asked for them, or was looking for something like this. It’s wonderful to find it reproduced online.

    At the same time, I don’t feel that I have any particular extra expertise.

    • Georgina Says:

      I realize this is a long shot, but is this loom still available for sale? I live in Portland. Thanks.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Hi Georgina, this is Trapunto, the owner of this blog. I tend to doubt Mary will be visiting back here to check comments, as this isn’t a loom selling site. I recommend craigslist. Check the Portland, Salem, and Corvallis craigslist listings, but especially the Seattle and Olympia ones, if you haven’t already. I have seen Bergman looms for sale. If you want one and have some patience, I am sure you will find one.

      • Carly Says:


        I have a 45 inch Bergman for sale, model # 5ALB451. I know it’s been a long time since you posted, but i figured I would give you a shot. Let me know if you’re interested.


  6. Trapunto Says:

    Thanks for commenting, Mary. And thanks SO much for putting together the typescript! I’m sorry you have to sell your loom. I hope it finds a good home; unfortunately there is room for only one Bergman at my place…

    Experience usually equals expertise in my book. I’m sure you’ve got a lot to share, in addition to what you’ve already shared by making the typescript.

  7. Susan Berlin Says:

    I recently acquired a 24-inch four-shaft Bergman loom. It came with everything EXCEPT heddles and the wires that go down to the lamms (or at least they do in my bigger Bergman loom). I’m a new weaver, and I can’t figure out how to replace the wires — and at what length? Also, how long the heddles should be.

    Anyone familiar with a 24-inch Bergman who could provide me with measurements? Any suggestions for solving the problem myself?

    Thanks so much!


    • trapunto Says:

      I replied to the twin of this comment on the “About Trapunto” page, but maybe I’d better post my reply here too for posterity:

      Hi Susan Berlin, I see you left identical comments on two of my posts today. I remember you also stopped by my blog in February when you acquired your 48″ Bergman. Did you get your 48″ up and working? If so, as far as I know, the narrower and wider Bergman floor looms all have the same (or very similar) height measurements at the castle and breast beam. That means they take the same heddle size–about 9.5″. Your first Bergman can be a guide to your new Bergman. I don’t recommend trying to fabricate the wires to the lower lamms, it is too hard to get the lengths exactly the same when you make the twisted eyelets at the end. I go into more depth about all this stuff elsewhere on my site. You can view all my tie-up posts here:

      Good luck,

  8. Susan Berlin Says:

    Yet another question: someone is selling a Bergman loom on Craigslist, with a bench. I would love to have a Bergman bench — but the seller doesn’t know how to tell whether her bench was made by Mr. Bergman. Do you know if/how he marked his benches? Or any other way to identify a bench as made by him?

    Thank you!


  9. Ann Says:

    I have two Bergman floor looms and am loaning them to a yard shop to teach weaving. Do you have any idea the value of them? One is an eight foot and the other is 29 inches.

    • Trapunto Says:

      Are you a countermarche weaver Ann? I ask because it’s hard to judge a loom’s condition if you don’t know what each little piece of the loom is for, and which ones need to be there for the loom to be functional. Value all depends on condition and functionality, even with a lovely vintage countermarche. Anyhow, whether you weave or not, you can get an idea of what working countermarche looms the same size as your Bergmans are worth by checking around online classifieds–especially the nearest city with a craigslist. I’m assuming your looms work because they were taken to be used to teach weaving, but sometimes there can be confusion in that department.

      So, basically my answer is that a loom is worth whatever the going price for looms has been among the local community of weavers. That said, I am thinking that among non-new countermarches (not jack looms) a Bergman in good condition is worth more than a used Toika or a LeClerc, and less than a Louet or a Harrisville Collingwood of the same size? Maybe about the same as an old Cranbrook (now made by Schacht) or Glimåkra. And you have to think about whether extra tools, reeds, benches, and books are being thrown into the deal.

      I’m really curious: what’s a yard shop?

  10. Celia Says:

    My mother in law (from Hailey, ID) inherited a 12 harness Bergman floor loom. (pat no 2057997, loom no A351) It is in need of restringing and slight repair, but we believe we have all the parts. She is thinking of selling it or having it restrung. Could you, or do you know of anyone who could, help us in finding out the value of the loom and/or how much it would cost to have it restrung?

    We would very much appreciate your help, thank you!


    • trapunto Says:

      Hello, Celia. Value all depends on condition, and whether all the pieces are present, and what the going price of looms in your area is (see my answer to the comment before yours.) A 12 shaft Bergman is a substantial loom!

      Restringing (though fiddly) is a minor matter. The condition of the cord affects the value of the loom very little. If neither you or your mother in law are weavers, or intend to weave on the loom, much better to leave the task of restringing and purchasing new heddles to the person who buys the loom, especially with a Bergman. It’s quite normal to sell/buy a loom that needs new cord. The weaver will want to choose the variety of cord and measure everything to suit him or herself, as it requires a knowledge of the mechanics of weaving. A non weaver might make some mistakes that would be very confusing and waste expensive cord–even a few inches can be crucial. It’s also a good way of acquainting yourself with your new loom. Just be really, really, sure to include the old cords if you sell the loom, as they’ll be useful for measurements, and some of the them have more life in them than you’d expect, if they are the irreplacable linen cords original to the loom. If they are just dingy, hand-washing is also an option. Personallly, a little patina doesn’t bother me, as long as they’re not moldy!

      You are lucky (I see from your blog) to live in the area with the highest concentration of Bergmans. They were made in Poulsbo and many weavers in the puget sound area still own them. I would recommend getting in touch with the Kitsap weaver’s guild, or even the local guild. If your mother in law and her loom are also located around the Puget sound, and not in Idaho, perhaps someone would be willing to come take a look, and advise you as to the extent and difficulty of the repair needed. I’m repeating this reply in an email to you, with some contact information.

      • Celia Says:

        Thank you so very much! My mother in law and I very much appreciate the time and effort you put forth to help us out! The information you sent has put us well on our way!
        God Bless!

  11. Mitzi Meyers Says:

    Hello, I am trying to help a friend whose wife passed away this past winter. There is a Bergman loom that they purchased, and has never been put together. He believes it is all there, but a photograph would be o so helpful! I am a weaver, but not familiar with a countermarche. I will look at your other sites-links and maybe will find a picture there. This loom is in Boise, Idaho Patent #2057997 Loom numberA422 I could not see any harnesses-I assume this type of loom has them? and don’t know how wide it is either. Any info you have would be great! Thanks!

    • trapunto Says:

      Hello Mitzi. A never-assembled Bergman! That is quite a coup. Has it been given to you, or are you helping the gentleman sell it? At any rate, you may have found them by now, but if you click on the sidebar categories here on my blog you will find pictures of my loom under “Bergman Shop Talk,” “Bergman Tie-Up,” and “Loom Love and History.” Almost all Bergman looms are countermarche looms. Unless you are talking about shafts (the terms are sometimes used interchangeably), I believe only counterbalance looms have harnesses: so probably not. Reading my blog entries on the subject may help you get an idea of how the loom works. Regarding width: the Bergmans mad looms of various widths, so you will have to measure. Best of luck.

  12. Mary Marker Says:

    Would Georgina like to contact me via e-mail regarding my 12H 45″ Bergman? The one in the Hood River Valley.


  13. Janis Says:

    I have just been given a used 36 in. Bergamn Loom and I am utterly delighted. It is hand engraved on one side:
    Bergman Looms
    Poulsbro, WN
    M No 5AL301

    On the other side is the Pat No: 2057997

    Does this identification mean anything to anyone?
    I think I will need help since I have only used counter balance looms in the past, not countermarche. It appears in good condition. Are there any books recommended for countermarche?

    I am grateful for any reply.

    • trapunto Says:

      Congratulations on your loom. One of the most useful countermarche weaving books is the succinct Tying Up the Countermarche Loom by Joanne Hall of Glimakra USA. I use my copy all the time. I also spent a long time looking through The Big Book of Weaving by Laila Lundell at a bookstore, and it seems absolutely excellent–covers everything countermarche related, with clear illustrations–it’s the book I wish I’d had when I first got my Bergman. I have also heard good things about The Swedish Weaving Book: Project Planning, Loom Dressing, and Finishing by Mariana Eriksson et al. Both of those are available from the Vavstuga; I can vouch for their customer service.

      But if you’re looking for cheaper used books, Ulla Cyrus’ Manual of Swedish Weaving is a good one.

      Just remember you Bergman is set up a little differently from typical countermarches, so the tie-up tips you’ll get for Glimakras may not always work just right. I’ve talked about this on my blog, as well as done a step by step post on warping my Bergman. You can get to all my Bergman related posts by clicking on the categories on the sidebars.

      Hope this helps, and happy weaving!

  14. Christina Says:

    I have a 12 shaft Bergman countermarche, one of the early ones made of old-growth fir. I have completely refinished it, but the linen cord I used to replace the tie-ups seems too stiff to be adjusted properly. Do you have any idea where I might find the right kind of cord to replace the tie-ups? I really have my heart set on using the traditional larkshead and snitch tie-up system.

    • Trapunto Says:

      Congratulations on a beautiful loom! I think you are wise to work with the larkshead and snitch system if you can, I certainly would if I was going to restring my loom. Don’t give up on your current linen cords just yet; those things are like gold. Have you tried distressing them (whacking them a lot against something hard like the wooden back of a chair) to loosen them up? I recently made a very tight, inflexible round kumihimo braided cord that loosened up amazingly after my cat played with it for a week. Some tumbling in the drier might help–probably easier to try that before the whacking–so might washing them, if the stiffness is due to some kind of starch or sizing in the linen. If your current cords really can’t be made useable, there are alternatives. Ace hardware sells an Ace brand 3/16 product they call simply “sash cord” that I hear works well for countermarche tie-up. It is cotton, but made not to stretch. Good luck, and let me know how things turn out!

      • Christina Says:

        Thank you for the answer! I will check out the cord at Ace, there is one near my house. I may try washing them as you suggest, I had not thought of that.

    • Sharon Says:

      Hi, Just wondering what you used to refinish your loom. I have a fir Bergman and once I get it out of storage I’ll be faced with some refinishing…

  15. Hi, we have a good condition 1980’s Bergman Contra-March 45″ 4 harness loom. We are trying to sell it and don’t know it’s value. Any ideas?

  16. Barb Rapinac Says:

    I have a 12 harness 45″ B loom A174 I have had it for 30 years. I am wondering how old it is. Is there a chart of makes/models w/year of manufacture?

  17. Margareta Iwald (Swedish relatives of Margaret Bergman) Says:

    You can look at the patent on this page if you are interessted

  18. Debbie Says:

    We just inherited a Bergman Loom Pat. 2057997, M NO 3A36. Can you tell me anything about it? We are interested in selling it to someone who could use it and enjoy it. All parts are here, just needs to be put 2gether. Thank you, Debbie

  19. Sharon Says:

    I hope this blog is still active. Now that I’ve discovered it, I love reading what other Bergman owners have to say. I’m wondering if there is an easy way to figure out how old a Bergman is…is there a list of serial numbers/years of production?

  20. Maureen Hogg Says:

    What IS the price of the loom and where can I purchase one thanks m Hogg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: