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Sew and So

Jacquard Looms - Science Museum, London

The Science Museum in London, England has some fascinating exhibits, jacquard looms, spinning equipment and other historical weaving & computer technology.

Jacquard Looms

Weaving patterns is an intricate task, but is also repetitive. Joseph Jacquard developed a system of punched cards, where the pattern was ‘programmed’ into the cardboard cards. These controlled the lifting of the sheds and created the patterning. This later led to the development of the modern day computer.

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Jacquard Loom
Science Museum
London, England
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Handspinning Equipment

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Making Roving

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Note the ”weights” that provide the tension for the back beam.

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Flying Shuttle Loom
Shuttles were stacked into a feeder mechanism and changed automatically

Dolly’s Sweater

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Dolly’s Sweater
Sweater knit from Dolly the cloned sheep

Do you remember the great controversy a few years ago, when Dolly, a cloned sheep was engineered? A bioengineered embryo had been implanted into a 6 year old ewe’s womb and Dolly developed as a clone. At 3 years of age, Dolly had much older DNA and it was expected that her life expectancy would be much shorter.The Cystic Fibrosis Trust held a competition to design a sweater using Dolly’s fleece. The fleece was cleaned, processed and spun at the School of Textile Industries in Leeds.

BBC – Dolly Fleeced for Fashion

Yuckles – Dolly the Cloned Sheep
Ok, a silly link here. Watch Dolly get cloned.

Time Magazine

The Cover from March 1997, Time Magazine of Dolly

Dolly
A Picture of Dolly.

Roslin Institute
Dolly’s home.

And now you can clone your pets!

If you are interested in the history of looms and computing technology, a visit to the Science Museum in London, UK is worth it. From Babbage’s Difference engine, atomic clocks, jacquard looms, Cray mainframes and other high-tech artifacts will take you back a step in time.

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Old Computers made with tubes and wires.

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Cray mainframe computer
In use until the early 1990’s,
Though not very clear in the photo – the blue in the centre is a huge mass of wires. Imagine when one of those shorts out!

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Computers and Looms

Weaving Loom Books

Jacquard’s Web: How a Hand-Loom Led to the Birth of the Information Age
From the Industrial Age to the Information Age, connecting the loom to thefirst proper computer.
UK: Jacquards Web

The Weaver’s Book: Fundamentals of Handweaving
UK: Fundamentals of Handweaving

Weaving Looms

 

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This page last edited on November 24, 2015

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