Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Collecting and Making Retro Kitchen Pot Holders

Loopy Days are Here Again

I clearly remember sitting at the kitchen table with my sister Ellen (back in the day) , making loop pot holders. Boy were our little fingers handy (no pun intended) as we weaved colorful loops together in a variety of patterns. Sometimes we used the metal "loop thing" (hook) to remove the finished weave off the loom, but mostly I remember doing the job with my tiny little fingers.

Picking Out Our Colors

Ellen and I would start off weaving two colors
together and then three colors together and then we would have a bunch of odds and end loops and they would become our "multi-color" pot holders.

With a bit of experience, we experimented with forming patterns and designs. Handicraft hobbies like making loom potholders kept little homemakers (like me and my sister ) busy for hours and hours.

Stacking Our Potholders

Sometimes we would have literally stacks of these handmade accessories and we would organize them into similar color palettes "the mostly pinks", "the mostly yellows". "the mostly blues" etc.

I can't remember if we actually used these potholders in mom's kitchen . I do remember making them as gifts for grandma or selling them at grandma's local holiday bazaar during the holidays.

Retro Collectors Buying Potholder Looms

Many retro inspired collectors enjoy decorating their vintage kitchens with original colorful (1940s, 1950's, 1960's) weaved looped potholders. many of these potholders were made by young gals who bought kits which generally came with a loom, hook, loops and craft booklet with ideas. I have seen these vintage boxed kits selling from $12.00-24.00. If you are buying these vintage toys as a collector or for re-sale, be sure the kit is complete.

Dating Potholder Kits
Pot holders as well as the boxes that the kits came it can give you some clue as to the date of the materials. Take a look at the graphics on the cover art and packaging materials. If there is a copyright you have a starting point. But also look at the packaging. You will note style, color, design clues that will help you date the age of the kit. Some kits have photographs of children and or teens making potholders. Take a look at whathtey are wearing and how they appear to help you date the product.

How to Buy Vintage Pot Holders

Buying vintage potholders gets a little more difficult to date. But you may begin by looking at the color combinations and matching them to the palettes of easrlier kitchens. The older loops were thick and puffy. The newer loops (nylon or cotton blended) are thinner and have brighter colors and are more "stretchy".
Older loom Kits Were Made By:
Jersey Loop Weaving by Wool Novelty Company
Loop Craft Weaving Loom by Nellie Bee Products

Where to Buy Vintage Potholders and Looms

Vintage potholders are usually carried by sellers who specialize in vintage linens and or kitchen collectibles. Vintage kits are often sold by dealers of vintage toys. Check on-line auctions (i,e, eBay) and sites featuring vintage dealers such as http://iantiqueonline.ning.com
http://www.etsy.com/ .

Where to Buy New Loom Kits



How To Make Loom Potholders

While researching this topic of how to make vintage potholders, I discovered that a lot of bloggers and websites are covering this subject. There is apparently a great deal of interest in bringing back the retro hobbies and crafts that delighted children for generations. Below are some links to helpful instructional sites.




How To Remove Potholder Off the Loom


Making Your Own Loom

Making Potholders Out of Re-Cycled T-Shirts


Making Potholders Out of Re-Cycled Tights (Leggings)

Read More About Retro Kitchen Accessories

Hot kitchen and Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s

Photos Courtesy of :


C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of Iantiqueonline.com an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link:
C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff

Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.com

Visit my website, CDianneZweig.com

Dianne is a member of:
The American Society of Journalists and Authors
The Authors Guild, Inc.


  1. Dianne! Thank you for the article! I really enjoyed it! It brought back old memories!
    Take care, Diane Mc

  2. Hi Dianne,
    My job was throwing away 2 boxes from the closet and I decided to go through the. What I found was 24 never been opened hand weaving looms (the exact ones in the top picture). I was going to let my girl scouts use them. I remember having so much fun making them as a child

  3. I found 24 never been opened hand weaving looms (the exact ones from the top picture). My job was throwing them away. I was going to let my Girl Scouts use them. I remember having so much fun as a child making them.