A loom is a device used to weave cloth and tapestry. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads. The precise shape of the loom and its mechanics may vary, but the basic function is the same.
1 Etymology 2 Weaving 3 Types of looms
3.1 Back strap loom 3.2 Warp-weighted loom 3.3 Drawloom 3.4 Handloom 3.5 Flying shuttle 3.6 Haute-lisse and basse-lisse looms 3.7 Ribbon weaving 3.8 Traditional looms
4 Power looms
4.2.1 Dobby looms 4.2.2 Jacquard looms
5 Circular looms
5.1 Symbolism and Cultural Significance
6 Gallery 7 See also 8 References 9 Bibliography 10 External links
The word "loom" is derived from the
Shedding. Shedding is the raising of part of the warp yarn to form a shed (the vertical space between the raised and unraised warp yarns), through which the filling yarn, carried by the shuttle, can be inserted. On the modern loom, simple and intricate shedding operations are performed automatically by the heddle or heald frame, also known as a harness. This is a rectangular frame to which a series of wires, called heddles or healds, are attached. The yarns are passed through the eye holes of the heddles, which hang vertically from the harnesses. The weave pattern determines which harness controls which warp yarns, and the number of harnesses used depends on the complexity of the weave. Two common methods of controlling the heddles are dobbies and a Jacquard Head.
Picking. As the harnesses raise the heddles or healds, which raise the warp yarns, the shed is created. The filling yarn is inserted through the shed by a small carrier device called a shuttle. The shuttle is normally pointed at each end to allow passage through the shed. In a traditional shuttle loom, the filling yarn is wound onto a quill, which in turn is mounted in the shuttle. The filling yarn emerges through a hole in the shuttle as it moves across the loom. A single crossing of the shuttle from one side of the loom to the other is known as a pick. As the shuttle moves back and forth across the shed, it weaves an edge, or selvage, on each side of the fabric to prevent the fabric from raveling. Battening. Between the heddles and the takeup roll, the warp threads pass through another frame called the reed (which resembles a comb). The portion of the fabric that has already been formed but not yet rolled up on the takeup roll is called the fell. After the shuttle moves across the loom laying down the fill yarn, the weaver uses the reed to press (or batten) each filling yarn against the fell. Conventional shuttle looms can operate at speeds of about 150 to 160 picks per minute.
There are two secondary motions, because with each weaving operation the newly constructed fabric must be wound on a cloth beam. This process is called taking up. At the same time, the warp yarns must be let off or released from the warp beams. To become fully automatic, a loom needs a tertiary motion, the filling stop motion. This will brake the loom, if the weft thread breaks. An automatic loom requires 0.125 hp to 0.5 hp to operate. Types of looms Back strap loom
A teenager working a backstrap loom in 1920s Bali
Woman weaving a silk rebozo on a backstrap loom at the Taller Escuela de Rebocería in Santa Maria del Rio, San Luis Potosí
A simple loom which has its roots in ancient civilizations consists of
two sticks or bars between which the warps are stretched. One bar is
attached to a fixed object, and the other to the weaver usually by
means of a strap around the back. On traditional looms, the two main
sheds are operated by means of a shed roll over which one set of warps
pass, and continuous string heddles which encase each of the warps in
the other set. The weaver leans back and uses their body weight to
tension the loom. To open the shed controlled by the string heddles,
the weaver relaxes tension on the warps and raises the heddles. The
other shed is usually opened by simply drawing the shed roll toward
the weaver. Both simple and complex textiles can be woven on this
loom. Width is limited to how far the weaver can reach from side to
side to pass the shuttle. Warp faced textiles, often decorated with
intricate pick-up patterns woven in complementary and supplementary
warp techniques are woven by indigenous peoples today around the
world. They produce such things as belts, ponchos, bags, hatbands and
carrying cloths. Supplementary weft patterning and brocading is
practiced in many regions. Balanced weaves are also possible on the
backstrap loom. Today, commercially produced backstrap loom kits often
include a rigid heddle.
Main article: Warp-weighted loom
The warp-weighted loom is a vertical loom that may have originated in
Elements of a foot-treadle floor loom
Seat for weaver
Warp beam- let off
Back beam or platen
Rods – used to make a shed
A handloom is a simple machine used for weaving. In a wooden vertical-shaft looms, the heddles are fixed in place in the shaft. The warp threads pass alternately through a heddle, and through a space between the heddles (the shed), so that raising the shaft raises half the threads (those passing through the heddles), and lowering the shaft lowers the same threads — the threads passing through the spaces between the heddles remain in place. This was a great invention in the 13th century. Flying shuttle Main article: Flying shuttle Hand weavers could only weave a cloth as wide as their armspan. If cloth needed to be wider, two people would do the task (often this would be an adult with a child). John Kay (1704–1779) patented the flying shuttle in 1733. The weaver held a picking stick that was attached by cords to a device at both ends of the shed. With a flick of the wrist, one cord was pulled and the shuttle was propelled through the shed to the other end with considerable force, speed and efficiency. A flick in the opposite direction and the shuttle was propelled back. A single weaver had control of this motion but the flying shuttle could weave much wider fabric than an arm’s length at much greater speeds than had been achieved with the hand thrown shuttle. The flying shuttle was one of the key developments in weaving that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution. The whole picking motion no longer relied on manual skill and it was just a matter of time before it could be powered. Haute-lisse and basse-lisse looms Looms used for weaving traditional tapestry are classified as haute-lisse looms, where the warp is suspended vertically between two rolls. In basse-lisse looms, however, the warp extends horizontally between the two rolls. Ribbon weaving Main article: Inkle weaving Traditional looms Several other types of hand looms exist, including the simple frame loom, pit loom, free-standing loom, and the pegged loom. Each of these can be constructed, and provide work and income in developing economies. Power looms Main article: Power loom
Two Lancashire looms in the
Queen Street Mill
A 1939 loom working at the
Mueller Cloth Mill
A Picanol rapier loom
Different types of looms are most often defined by the way that the weft, or pick, is inserted into the warp. Many advances in weft insertion have been made in order to make manufactured cloth more cost effective. There are five main types of weft insertion and they are as follows:
Shuttle: The first-ever powered looms were shuttle-type looms. Spools of weft are unravelled as the shuttle travels across the shed. This is very similar to projectile methods of weaving, except that the weft spool is stored on the shuttle. These looms are considered obsolete in modern industrial fabric manufacturing because they can only reach a maximum of 300 picks per minute. Air jet: An air-jet loom uses short quick bursts of compressed air to propel the weft through the shed in order to complete the weave. Air jets are the fastest traditional method of weaving in modern manufacturing and they are able to achieve up to 1,500 picks per minute. However, the amounts of compressed air required to run these looms, as well as the complexity in the way the air jets are positioned, make them more costly than other looms. Water jet: Water-jet looms use the same principle as air-jet looms, but they take advantage of pressurized water to propel the weft. The advantage of this type of weaving is that water power is cheaper where water is directly available on site. Picks per minute can reach as high as 1,000. Rapier loom: This type of weaving is very versatile, in that rapier looms can weave using a large variety of threads. There are several types of rapiers, but they all use a hook system attached to a rod or metal band to pass the pick across the shed. These machines regularly reach 700 picks per minute in normal production. Projectile: Projectile looms utilize an object that is propelled across the shed, usually by spring power, and is guided across the width of the cloth by a series of reeds. The projectile is then removed from the weft fibre and it is returned to the opposite side of the machine so it can get reused. Multiple projectiles are in use in order to increase the pick speed. Maximum speeds on these machines can be as high as 1,050 ppm.
A dobby loom is a type of floor loom that controls the whole warp
threads using a dobby head. Dobby is a corruption of "draw boy" which
refers to the weaver's helpers who used to control the warp thread by
pulling on draw threads. A dobby loom is an alternative to a treadle
loom, where multiple heddles (shafts) were controlled by foot treadles
– one for each heddle.
Hand operated Jacquard looms in the
Battening on a jacquard loom in Łódź.
A female worker changing jacquard cards in a lace machine in a Nottingham factory (1918 (First World War).
Boy next to two weaving looms with the weaving pattern on reams of paper (India).
Following the pattern, holes are punched in the appropriate places on a jacquard card.
Manual loom with double width and jacquard loom, Colegio del Arte Mayor de la Seda of Valencia.
The Jacquard cards control the healds on a loom.
Circular looms A circular loom is used to create a seamless tube of fabric for products such as hosiery, sacks, clothing, fabric hose (such as fire hose) and the like. Circular looms can be small jigs used for Circular knitting or large high-speed machines for modern garments. Modern circular looms use up to ten shuttles driven from below in a circular motion by electromagnets for the weft yarns, and cams to control the warp threads. The warps rise and fall with each shuttle passage, unlike the common practice of lifting all of them at once.
Symbolism and Cultural Significance
Model of Navajo Loom, late 19th century, Brooklyn Museum.jpg
An early nineteenth century Japanese loom with several heddles, which the weaver controls with her foot
A Jakaltek Maya brocades a hair sash on a back strap loom.
Hand loom at Hjerl Hede, Denmark, showing grayish warp threads (back) and cloth woven with red filling yarn (front)
Oaxacan artisan Alberto Sanchez Martinez at loom
Hand loom at the Korkosz Croft in Czarna Góra, Poland, 19th century
^ "loom - Origin and meaning of loom by Online Etymology Dictionary".
^ "warp - Search Online Etymology Dictionary".
^ a b Collier 1970, p. 104
^ Barber, 1991 & pp.93–96
^ Crowfoot 1936, p. 36
^ Burnham 1980, p. 48
^ a b Broudy (1979), 124.
^ Forbes (1987), 218 & 220.
^ a b Ceccarelli, Marco; López-Cajún, Carlos (2012). "Explorations
in the History of Machines and Mechanisms: Proceedings of HMM2012
(History of Mechanism and Machine Science)". Springer.
p. 219-220. ISBN 978-9400799448. Missing or empty
^ Payson Usher, Abbott (2011). "A History of Mechanical Inventions".
Dover Publications. p. 54. ISBN 978-0486255934.
Missing or empty url= (help)
^ Handlooms: Practical guide to constructing viable handlooms, Joan
Koster,1978 Archived 2014-03-02 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Marsden 1895, p. 57
^ Guest 1823, p. 46
^ Marsden 1895, p. 76
^ Marsden 1895, p. 94
^ Mass 1990
^ Collier 1970, p. 111
^ S. Rajagopalan, S.S.M. College of Engineering, Komarapalayam,
Pdexcil.org Archived 2010-11-29 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Eric Hobsbawm, "The Age of Revolution", (London 1962; repr. 2008),
^ "Fabric Glossary". Archived from the original on 2009-01-05.
^ C. Razy p.120 (1913)
^ GESELOWITZ, MICHAEL N. "The Jacquard Loom: A Driver of the
Industrial Revolution". The Institute: The IEEE news source. Retrieved
31 March 2018.
^ You tube demonstration access-date= 2016-06-27
^ High throughput Austrian manufacturer access-date= 2016-06-27
^ Tresidder, Jack (1997). The Hutchinson Dictionary of Symbols.
London: Helicon Publishers. p. 127.
^ Rosenbaum, Brenda P. (1990). "Mayan Women,
Barber, E. J. W. (1991). Prehistoric Textiles. Princeton University
Press. ISBN 0-691-00224-X.
Burnham, Dorothy K. (1980). Warp and Weft: A
Look up loom in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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Handloom construction: Practical guide to constructing viable
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v t e
Basketweave Charvet Coverlet Dobby Double weave Even-weave Lampas Oxford Pile weave Piqué Plain weave Satin weave Shot Twill Gabardine
Textiles Warp and weft Yarn
Tools and techniques
Barber-Colman knotter Beamer Chilkat weaving Fingerweaving Flying shuttle Heald (Heddle) Ikat Inkle weaving Jacquard weaving Kasuri Loom Navajo weaving Pibiones Reed Salish weaving Shed Shuttle Sizing
Tablet weaving Tāniko Tapestry Temple
Types of looms
Air jet loom Dobby loom Jacquard loom Hattersley loom Horrocks loom Lancashire loom Northrop loom Power loom Rapier loom Roberts Loom Warp weighted loom
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