I am an artist and researcher working from a studio in Camberwell, London. Since 2015 I have been building looms, researching the history and techniques of handloom weaving, and making cloth.

A weaving apprenticeship in eighteenth century England lasted seven years, by which reckoning I should get my articles very soon. I have learnt by practical experimentation and by studying old books and archive material – John Duncan’s Practical and Descriptive Essays (1808) and Luther Hooper’s Handloom Weaving Plain & Ornamental (1920) have been especially useful.

I hope this website will function as a resource for others. You can find a bibliography of historic sources on my Library page. I record some of my research as blog posts, organised by year: blogs 2021, blogs 2022.

The loom is the heart of my practice – my subject and method. I designed and built my current loom in 2018/19. It uses some modern materials but works on ancient principles. In 2021 I rebuilt the countermarche mechanism with sixteen leaves to give more scope for pattern weaving. I continue to modify the loom in response to new practical challenges and my evolving understanding of the craft.

I work with archive material to better understand historic methods.

My recent weaving practice has been focused on draughts from an 18th century manuscript by a linen weaver called Ralph Watson, from Aiskew in North Yorkshire. I recently wrote a blog about this for the North Yorkshire County Records Office here.

In 1978-9 the German cultural organisation Landschaftsverband Rheinland commisioned a remarkable series of films documenting the re-enactment of traditional linen weaving in the rural Hunsrück region. Titled Bäuerliche Lienenweberie, the films provide a systematic and detailed record of a practice that was once widespread throughout Europe. (More information here.) In 2020 I made a short film by re-editing some of this archive footage, focusing attention on  the intimate communication between the workers and their equipment and exploring weaving as a performative practice. (Link here.) I am currently working on translations of the German commentary to the original films. (Link to the first of these here.)

Stills from Bäuerliche Lienenweberie, courtesy Landschaftsverband Rheinland

I occasionally post about my work on my blog and on Instagram.

Contact: maxmosscrop@hotmail.com