Mr. Miles are proud to be an approved agent for the famous English furniture company. We have used the wonderfully hand crafted and resilient furniture since we opened. As a result of the number of enquiries we received we set up as an agent. We can source the full range of Lloyd Loom products in all their colours and configurations. Call in to see the furniture in action and to review the full catalogue.
Lloyd Loom is the name given to a woven fabric and furniture that was invented by Marshall Burns Lloyd nearly 100 years ago. It became immensely popular in the UK before the London factory was tragically destroyed in the war, spelling an end to large scale production.
Lloyd Loom weave is made from twisted paper and wire and the frames are traditionally made from steam-bent beech wood. The furniture is renowned for its longevity and durability. Inferior models imported from the Far East, still widely available, are made on flimsy rattan frames which have neither the strength nor the longevity of real Lloyd Loom.
Genuine Lloyd Loom is still made in England at our factory in Spalding where each piece is lovingly and uniquely made by hand.
The Factory in Spalding
Manufacturing of Lloyd Loom furniture was started in Spalding in 1985 by David Breese, a Lincolnshire furniture maker. He had been supplying a growing demand for reconditioned pre-war Lloyd Loom pieces and was beginning to experience difficulty in sourcing good examples of the most popular designs.
He researched the techniques involved in weaving the original paper and wire fabric and commissioned new looms based on originals from the Lancashire textile industry. He gradually trained his workers until he had a staff skilled in the unique trades required for the creation of Lloyd Loom furniture.
The colouring process has evolved through many manifestations – changing recently to recognise the growing demand for eco-friendly water based paints and finally last year with the introduction of kraft paper dyed before the weave stage, on some of our models, removing the necessity of paint spraying the end product.
The Invention of the Lloyd Loom Weave
Marshall Burns Lloyd
Marshall Burns Lloyd was born in 1858 in Minnesota to a Scottish emigrant father and although only receiving a rudimentary education before having to start gainful employment, quickly progressed to become a remarkably varied inventor and entrepreneur.
As a teenager he invented and was successful with a new fishing spear, and then a woven clothes hamper or linen basket – in the process learning about the constraints and problems of hand-weaving which was to later have a major impact on his life. Next he started and built up first a soap and then a jewellery empire. Then followed many inventions including a revolutionary weighing machine for the grain industry, a wire weaving machine for mats and then another revolutionary product in the form of a woven wire bedspring. This was responsible for making his third fortune and by 1900 he was the rich and successful owner of the Lloyd Manufacturing Company.
The development of Lloyd Loom Furniture
Having invented the weave process, and realising the potential of the new material, Marshal soon began experimenting with furniture. In 1919 he advertised the patent of the manufacturing process for sale in Europe. A London salvage merchant, William Lusty applied for the UK patent and his son Frank was despatched to learn the secrets of the business. A successful deal was done for a reported more than a million dollars – although this seems unlikely – and Frank returned to set up a UK furniture operation in 1921.
Unfortunately the demand for Lloyd Loom furniture (in both the UK and the USA) remained small. People could not be convinced that this furniture was for indoors rather than outdoors and the factory was on the verge of collapse after 5 years of investment.
The breakthrough came when the London North Eastern Railways began using Lloyd Loom furniture in its hotels and finally demand took off – with the UK exceeding USA sales. It was used in Royal Yachts, Ocean Liners and the royal boxes at Henley, Wimbledon and Twickenham and soon in tea-rooms and hotels around the country. Every home wanted its Lloyd loom pieces.
It also became popular with the armed forces and a special pilots chair (wide enough for them in full kit) was produced for the RAF at the start of the second world war.
And then in 1940, disaster struck. The factory in Bow in East London was hit in a Luftwaffe raid and destroyed. Fortunately it was a Saturday and no-one was injured but it was the end of large scale Lloyd Loom furniture manufacture in the UK until it was resurrected in Spalding 40 years later.