History of the loom

13/08/2021

The loom is a weaving machine, built with wood or metal, in which parallel threads are placed, called warps, which must be held at both ends. By means of a mechanism, these threads are raised individually or in groups, forming a so-called openwork opening, through which the weft passes. It can be artisan or industrial. Artisan looms are classified into three large families: racks, verticals and horizontals. Industrial looms are classified according to the type of fabric they produce: there are flat, circular and textile. 

There are different versions of the invention of the loom. Chinese tradition places its invention in the time of the Yellow Emperor, while some have claimed that the loom was invented by the indigenous South Americans. Others speculate that it was developed in the Neolithic period in Mesopotamia. 

In the Paleolithic Era, approximately 6000 and 10000 years ago, man went in search of shelter to protect himself from the elements, imitating the nature of the nests of birds and various roots, discovered plant and animal fibers and began to intertwine them until form a fabric. 

In the Neolithic Era, the Metal and wheel industry, agriculture, the domestication of animals and the first looms developed

The first loom was the Greek vertical, similar to a football goal, in which the fibers hung from the crossbar to the ground and they placed stones to tighten the fibers and form a firmer warp and thus they wove from the bottom to the top. This work facilitated the handling of the fibers, being finer and softer, favoring the texture in textile clothing. They called this loom Penelope and it was used in the Middle East and northern Europe. 

The Egyptian loom was similar to that of tapestries and carpets, being vertical, floor and horizontal. 

In America backstrap looms were used, in which the man sat on the ground, with the warp tied to the belt he was wearing, held it with the weight of the body and wove while maintaining his position. 

With the development of Humanity and the industrial advances that were progressing, weaving advanced with other models of looms that facilitated the design of the weft. 


The pedal loom was invented in the 10th century, in the early Middle Ages. 

The pedal looms, which separated the warp with the pressure of the feet and operated some frames that contained the healds that were threaded. Leonardo Da Vinci, in the 16th century, invented the shuttle, which allows weaving manually to complete the work more efficiently. 

These looms produced a textile technological advance, which increased large-scale production, favoring the world economy and the lives of the peoples. 

Scottish clergyman William Lee invented the first stocking loom in 1589.

The automatic Jacquard loom was invented in 1801 by Joseph Marie Jacquard, 

And a version of the power loom (which played an important role in the industrial revolution) was invented by the English clergyman Edmund Cartwright in 1784. This was patented a year later, but due to failures, Cartwright developed its final version in 1789, the which served as a model for later developments. 

At present there are many different types of looms that respond to each use according to their needs and times, such as the triangular, square, hexagonal, round, comb loom also called María or southern, both manual and electric. 

Charles Babbage, with the help of Augusta Lee, discovered a pattern for punched cards using the loom, which contributed to the idea of ​​the computer.