Our looms are part of the only Hattersley Domestic Weaving System in New Zealand, making the McLean & Co. looms and textiles unique in this part of 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 remote domestic situations. Although 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 disabled 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.
The McLean & Co. looms, having been used in the rehabilitation of disabled soldiers, have now become the centre of Roderick McLean’s rehabilitation from the effects of his AVM and ME.
Rod has since brought the McLean & Co. Hattersley Weaving System, which includes three looms, a bobbin and pirn winder and warping mill back into production, teaching himself to care this unique and very special textile manufacturing system, and weave fine woollen and alpaca textiles.