April 1, 2014
Photo: Jimmy Kimmel wearing a suit jacket made of Looms.
Two weeks ago I was playing the diligent dad role, piggy backing my daughter around Westfield trying to find Loom bands; her thirst to jump on board to the Loom craze was insatiable.
We went into about 4 different stores before we received a tip off – the $2 shop just near Big W. Bang. We were on. You’ll now find 2 Loom bands adorning my wrist. Ten times that on my daughter’s.
Apparently I am right on trend. One of the first times ever! Across the US, Looms are all the rage, just as they are in Brunswick. Everyone at school does them. Every grade in primary school! Naturally I was curious.
WHAT IS A LOOM?
A loom band is a bracelet made up of numerous tightly interwoven colourful elastic bands. Creating a loom band is a little bit like knitting, where your fingers are the ‘needles’ and you just loop the bands in different patterns and different colour combinations.
WHERE DID IT START?
Loom Bands were actually created by a dad who just couldn’t keep up with his daughters craft habit. He created them to ‘soak up’ as much of her time as possible. From there, they have taken off, and for good reason...
Small steps & easy creation
After a relatively short amount of time, 3-5 minutes you have a band! Perfect instant gratification.
No two are the same:
With so many elastic bands in each bracelet, any one band is difficult to replicate – so your creations are essentially one-of-a-kind.
Loomers compare and contrast as well as trade and share them in the playground.
On the surface level for parents, these bands are about keeping their children happy, and a welcome break from screen time. However, at a deeper level, the underlying emotional driver is that it can become a statement of their connection to their children.
Looms are a marker of openness and pride. In the ‘adult’ world, when Dads, Mums and Grandparents accessorise their 'adult' clothes with ‘childish’ looms, they are highlighting their connection to their family.
Adrienne Appel, from the Toy Industry Association in the US, has suggested that this is heightened for Dads in particular. She feel their success is also a reflection of the changing nature of interaction between dads and their children.
“Today’s dads are a lot more hands on,” said Ms. Appell, explaining why the bracelets have caught on with guys who travel business class. “Families and children hold a very special place in their world and they’re not afraid to be open about it.”**
It appears that in the adult world, Looms are literally about wearing your heart on your sleeve.