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Warp & Weft Blog

Celebrating 50 Years of Nantucket Looms

Celebrating 50 Years of Nantucket Looms

Photograph of Nantucket Looms Compass Rose at 16 Main Street

April 1st, 2018 marks our 50 year commitment to celebrating fine traditional craftsmanship. From our beginnings at 16 Main Street with original owners, Bill Euler and Andy Oates, to 16 Federal and back home to Main at number 51, our ambition embodies much that the Looms family treasures about Nantucket. Our history has shaped us into who we have become: strong supporters of year-round job creation and the synthesis of classic Nantucket style with modern aesthetic. A half-century has given us much upon which to reflect fondly and proudly and to continue to uphold in the future.

Bill Euler and Andy Oates

Our story originates in 1961, when Mary Ann Beinecke and the Nantucket Historical Trust (NHT) approached Andy to restore what is today the Jared Coffin House. Andy designed and hand-wove all textiles for the hotel. In 1965, the NHT opened the Cloth Company with Andy and his partner, Bill Euler, specializing in needlepoint, crewelwork, and handwoven fabrics. In 1968, Andy and Bill purchased the Nantucket Looms division of the operation and ventured into retail at 16 Main, opening Nantucket Looms, Inc. on April 1st with a focus on mentoring island craftsman and their work. Liz Winship (pictured on the right) joined Bill and Andy and the Looms family in 1974, and expanded the store with innovative local products and fine arts. In her own words she was “the man who came to dinner and never left!”. In 1993, Bill and Andy left the business in the trusted hands of Liz, who over her 40 year tenure, was a stalwart supporter of local artists & artisans, initiated the interior design studio and established a legacy of discipline to our vision of keeping classic, simple Nantucket at the heart of everything we do. 

Anchored in the twenty-first century, the Looms remains a family enterprise, piloted forward by a triad of owners: Liz’s daughter, Bess Clarke, 20-year veteran Stephanie Hall, and long-time Looms master weaver, Becky Jusko Peraner.

Business Partners (from L-R) Becky Peraner, Stephanie Hall, Bess Clarke

When you enter our nineteenth-century glass storefront, we invite you into an atmosphere of island style. In the shop, you can find quintessential beach home essentials. Upstairs you can hear the rhythmic sound of our weavers at the looms in our weaving studio. In the beehive of activity that is our thriving Interior Design Studio, you can browse the extensive catalog of fabrics and wallpapers.

We believe that sustaining a local crafts industry is important, and our strategy involves championing year-round artisans like painters, ceramicists, woodcarvers, Lightship basket weavers, jewelers, and of course, textile weavers. Our Weaving Studio is the last commercial hand-weaving production studio in the states.

Current store front at 51 Main Street

Today, at the start of our 50th year, we are rooted in a familiar past, yet growing and evolving with the times on Nantucket. Where, we wonder, will the next 50 years take us? We cannot know, but we do know the fundamentals that will guide us along the way.