How to Identify Genuine Lloyd Loom
Have you stumbled across a piece of woven furniture in your garage, in an antiques shop, or even inherited a much-loved Lloyd Loom ottoman from a family member? If you’re wondering; “is this Lloyd Loom?”, we’ve created a guide to help you to look for clues…
What is Lloyd Loom?
Lloyd Loom weave is a machine woven material consisting of tightly twisted kraft paper, reinforced by paper wrapped vertical strands containing a steel wire core. The weave is woven in a continuous piece on the loom and is then cut and nailed onto a frame. Classically, a solid beech bentwood frame is used which gives Lloyd Loom furniture its typically recognisable curved features. The majority of pre 1940 pieces were made from bentwood and our bentwood framed British Lloyd Loom furniture is still as popular today as it ever was, but many of our contemporary British Lloyd Loom pieces feature a modern style solid wood beech frame (these furniture pieces are identified by their squared off legs, see Lloyd Loom dining chairs as an example). Lloyd Loom furniture that is manufactured in Indonesia and then imported into Britain is usually made using a cane frame which is wrapped with twisted paper to hide the cane underneath (if the legs of the Lloyd Loom piece are wrapped, then the Lloyd Loom piece will be an imported item).
Shown Above: Lloyd Loom Bentwood Curve Example
Lloyd Loom Weave
Lloyd Loom weave is always the same composition (apart from in a handful of rare cases); the weave must be uniform and appear to be the same as in the image shown below. Each horizontal ‘strand’ of twisted paper will be around 2mm in thickness. As the vertical strands of twisted paper contain a metal wire core, you should be able to stick a strong magnet to a vertical strand of the weave (Sirrom, rattan and wicker do not contain a wire core, so the magnet will not stick).
Shown Above: Lloyd Loom Weave Example
Confusingly, Sirrom furniture often features a Lloyd Loom style braid and is usually painted in classic Lloyd Loom colours, such green, pink and gold, therefore can easily be mistaken for a Lloyd Loom piece. You can identify a piece of Sirrom-wear by looking at the composition of the weave; if the weave is flat and resembles the image below, then the piece will be made from Sirrom. Sirrom was marketed by Morris, Wilkinson & Co. of Nottingham, established in 1889. Morris, Wilkinson & Co began selling Sirrom prams as well as their 'Sirrom Colurtex' furniture from 1914 onwards.
Shown above: Sirrom Weave Example
Shown above: Sirrom advertisements from 1933 by Morris, Wilkinson & Co.
Rattan and Cane
Unlike Lloyd Loom weave which is nailed onto the furniture frame in sheets, cane or rattan is hand woven directly onto the frame. Cane and rattan woven materials are often thicker than Lloyd Loom and can even be rough to the touch, threatening to snag on clothing. Lloyd Loom, when in a good condition, will feature a smooth painted or clear coated surface.
Shown above: Rattan Weave Example
Feature to Identify Lloyd Loom
Apart from some of the identifying details mentioned above, a sure way to identify your Lloyd Loom piece can be to turn it upside down! If you’re lucky, there will be a Lloyd Loom paper label underneath, though these can very easily become damaged and fall off over the years as they are fragile. There may also be a date stamp showing the month and the year in which your Lloyd loom piece was created – these are usually concealed underneath the paper label, but can even be adjacent to the label depending on the year of creation. Furniture that was created pre-1931 may not feature a date stamp at all. Also worth noting is if your item has been repainted at any point in its life, then the date stamp or label may have been painted over - with a professional Maycroft Lloyd Loom restoration, we will always preserve the existing date stamp and label, if present.
Shown above: Lloyd Loom Paper Example