Guest Post Sunday – Rebecca Stephens

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Looms used to be illegal in America. True story. Back when America was still an English colony, they made the colonists grow the flax and cotton (which paid peanuts) and send it to Ye Old Englande to be woven into cloth (which paid a mozza). Which probably really annoyed the Americans. And being annoyed with the English was what led to the War of Independence. So you could say that loom bands started a war.

Ok, that may be stretching it a little but that’s what happens when you let a history graduate play with loom bands. And write blog posts.

This I do know: their colourful rubberiness have certainly caused a mini rebellion in our house.


Son #1 (4 years old) and I have become addicted. And with any well managed addiction comes arbitrary rules:

Rule #1: No loom banding while Son #2 is awake (due to the proliferation of teeny tiny colourful choking hazards).
Rule #2: Do not attempt a double loom band after a glass of wine.
Rule #3: Do not use the same colour bands side-by-side if you ever want to be able to get that sucker out and over with a hook when you come to looping your loom bands (say that ten times fast, I dare you).

Mr D and Nan are not so enamoured.

Nan was the first to endure the torture of attempting to assist Son #1 to make a loom band during Son #2’s nap time. I got this message at work:

A few days later it was Mr D’s turn to be home with his sons. During Son #2’s nap time, I got this message at work:


So we instituted Rule #4: No loom banding while Mum’s out.

The real history of loom bands (or “Why men need to impress their wives”)

Loom band inventor, Choon Ng, emigrated to the U.S. from Malaysia in 1991 to go to college in Wichita. Nearly 20 years later, armed with a graduate degree in mechanical engineering and his life savings, he started experimenting with making jewellery out of tiny rubber bands in his basement in Detroit. Except that his wife wouldn’t let him spend their life savings on developing, manufacturing and marketing a kit that included a loom and little coloured rubber bands. I can’t imagine why not. What a crazy woman.

Choon Ng spent night after night in his basement perfecting his loom band patterns and eventually convinced his wife he was totally crazy that his plan was financially viable and she agreed that there was no point trying to argue with him any longer it was a fabulous idea to spend their entire life savings on teeny tiny coloured rubber bands, plastic hooks and looms.

Clearly capitalism (and addiction to repetitive, mindless activities with pretty colours) prevailed, because the loom band craze swept through primary schools all over the nation and abroad.

And it isn’t just the kids.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald: ‘Some parents, however, keep making loom bands after their children are proficient… A glass of wine and a loom band kit can make for a good time.’ Yep, good times are had in this house with a Savvy B and a bunch of bands.

Ye olde children's hand pegged loom (Click for image source)

Ye olde children’s hand pegged loom (Click for image source)

Given looms have been around for about 2000 years or so (brought to England by the Romans – all looms lead to Rome?) it’s not technically a ‘new’ trend. But don’t tell the kids. They’ll just think you’re uncool.

Do you think loom bands should be illegal?



Bec is a Melbourne blogger and Mum to two hilarious, inquisitive and non-stop little boys. She has a husband with his head in the clouds (he’s a pilot), a part-time career and a budding addiction to small, colourful rubber bands. You can find her blogging about her life, her boys and the history of parenting here.