October 23 2014 Latest news:
Natalie Sadler and Gemma Mitchell
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Loom bands are the playground craze that has swept the nation this summer and it continues to evolve with talented loomers now producing sandals, headbands and even nativity characters.
And an enterprising group of girls from Great Leighs Primary School, near Braintree have even turned the craze into a money spinner for their local hospice.
Angel Meydan, Chloe Lloyd, Sophia Collins, Amelie Carter, Amelie Saunders and Charley Gooch made £125 selling loom bands at school, and they are donating the money to Farleigh Hospice.
The girls spent three weeks looming before the bog sale, and even had their mums helping out. Sophia said: “I made 40,” while Chloe added: “I made 61.”
Tara Saylik, mum of Angel, said: “They all had them up their arms, there were about 250 in total.
Loom bands are tiny, coloured rubber bands that are twisted together in a crochet-like fashion to make bracelets and other items
The bands can be twisted around your fingers, a fork or a plastic board called a Rainbow Loom
The Rainbow Loom was invented in 2011 by Cheong Choon Ng
The loom craze is aimed at children aged eight to 14
Packets of bands are sold for about £1 in supermarkets, craft shops and on market stalls – packets contain between 300 and 600 bands
“They sold them for between 30p and £1.20, and we thought they would only make about £50. We were shocked at how well they did.”
Angel said: “We wanted to give the money to the hospice because they looked after Amelie’s nan and Chloe’s grandad.”
The girls have branched out from the standard and fishtail bracelets and have now mastered triple singles, caterpillars, candy twist and the starburst.
Chloe has even knotted together a bouncy ball that she wears attached to a bracelet while Sophia has a thick choker that she fashioned from the tiny rubber bands.
Mum-of-three Mel Barron has made panda bears, dragon flies and is now working on a full nativity scene that she hopes to have finished before Christmas.
For Connie Lamb, 13, of Farlingaye High School, in Woodbridge, it is the simplicity of the craft that makes it so appealing.
She said: “I just think they are really fun to do, if you are bored you can sit there and do them and you don’t have get loads of things out.
“You can just do it on your lap.
“I got into it two months ago, all my friends are doing it and I just really wanted to try it.”
Describing the fancy barefoot sandals that her teenage daughter has taken to making, her mum, Karen, said: “She makes a loop that goes around her second toe, and goes up her foot and around the ankle.”
“Connie made these headbands, they are like a flower power band and she wears them to school. Normally she has a short attention span but this keeps her busy for hours.”
But the looms come with a health warning - there have been reports of children falling asleep with them around their fingers, cutting off the blood supply to the tips. They have also been banned from many schools.
Connor Harvey, seven, goes to Cliff Lane Primary and he said: “They were banned from my school because we were all flinging them in the classroom.”
The youngster is hooked on the craze and as well as the obligatory bracelets and necklaces, he has made a long loom for skipping.
• See our promotions team in Ipswich town centre on Wednesday and get a free packet of loom bands with every paper purchased.