Our Hattersley looms
Our Hattersley Domestic Weaving System includes three cast iron looms, a bobbin winder, a pirn winder and a warping mill, and is the only one known in the Southern Hemisphere; it may be the only complete one left in the world.
The Hattersley Domestic Weaving System was designed by George Hattersley and Sons in the late 1800's, responding to a need for a compact treadle operated loom which could be used in domestic settings in remote locations.
Although it is believed these innovative looms were originally designed for the Balkans, they ended up in the Scottish Isles, particularly Lewis and Harris where they became the mainstay of the Harris Tweed industry. The first thirty looms arrived in the Outer Hebrides in 1919, providing returning WW1 soldiers with rehabilitation and a means of earning a living.
The history of the McLean & Co. looms is hazy prior to 1946, when they arrived at the Riccarton Rehabilitation League workshops in Christchurch, to provide rehabilitation and employment for disabled NZ servicemen returning from WW2.
They remained there until 1970 when they were purchased by the Wellington Weaving Company and relocated to Palmerston North. In 1985 they were bought by Westland Tweed Ltd in Hokitika and in 1995 they moved to Te Anau and then Lawrence before arriving in Oamaru in 2006 in a state of disrepair.
Rod has since brought the McLean & Co. Hattersley Weaving System back into production, teaching himself to care for this unique and very special textile manufacturing system, and weave fine woollen and alpaca textiles.