Tag Archives: looms

Verulamium Spindles and Looms: aa062304

Verulamium was a Roman city near St. Albans. Today, the Verulamium museum has an impressive collection of artifacts found in the area, including many spinning and weaving tools.

Excavations at Folly Lane
Sewing needles
Loom Weights
Warp weighted looms

 

Wool combs
roman wool comb

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St. Albans, historical and picturesque. With an account of the Roman city of Verulamium … Illustrated by Frederic G. Kitton.

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Sewing needles
Buttons

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Textiles

Spindle Spinning
Naalbinding
Ethnic Weaving

Verulamium

Verulamium: The Roman City of St Albans
Verulamium
Verulamium Since the Romans

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Computers & Looms: aa032599

Did you know that the loom and the computer are related? In 1740 Jacques de Vaucanson designed the first usable automated draw loom. The control system he employed in his design was a metal cylinder with studs, similar to the cylinders used for player pianos.
Later in 1801, Joseph-Marie Jacquard further developed this idea and simplified the automatic loom through a system of perforated cards.

jacquard loom

His father was a weaver, and his invention simplified complex treadling sequences. His Jacquard loom became the precursor to the computer. The holes in the cards controlled which shed rose in a particular pattern sequence – similar to the system of punch cards in early computers.

With the invention of the automated Jacquard loom, came the threat of unemployment. The silk weavers threatened Jacquard with death, and his looms were sold as junk.

In the early 1800’s Charles Babbage invented a steam driven machine to calculate numbers.

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Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine

Science Museum
London England

The idea to use punch cards for information input into his analytical machine (which was his ‘second generation calculating machine after the difference engine) was Babbage’s, being inspired by Jacquard’s loom design. Babbage actually visited the silk weaving studions in Lyon to see the Jacquard looms in action.

Ada Lovelace was a publicizer of Babbage’s ideas and designs about automated computation. IBM was born from the tabulator (sorting information recorded on punched cards) designed by Hollerith to deal with data collected for the 1890 US census. He was an ingenious engineer, but not a good salesman, so in comes Thomas Watson and Charles Flint (a super salesman and an archetypal capitalist) and the birth of IBM in the early 1920’s.
The punch cards were replaced by microprocessors and here we are now, connecting via the Net. Whether we working at our looms, designing our drafts in the latest weaving software or are surfing on the internet, it seems that the two are connected.

Many thanks to Anneliese Recklies for editing and providing additional information regarding this article.
Jacquard’s Web: How a Hand-Loom Led to the Birth of the Information Age

More about Computers and Weaving

Mechanical Aids to Computation and the Development of Algorithms
The textile industry was the motivating force for the development of modern day computing or data storage.

Computer: Looking back
J.A.N. Lee’s column in Computer, relates the development of the Jacquard loom to IBM’s mechanical card-processing machines.

Introduction to Programming
Hand weavers, realized the cards possessed a value separate from the machine. The cards contained the pattern for the cloth, instructions for the machine and were the first examples of what we would call a program.

The Jacquard Loom
Although weaving is an intricate and delicate task, it is also repetitive. Joseph Jacquard automated the patterning through his system of punch cards.

Math & Weaving
Jacquard Looms

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ANTIQUE Reed Company Little Dandy Loom -  Weaving Rug Loom

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Electric bobbin winder, weaving loom

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KINGFISHER II TAPESTRY LOOM

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Textile Crafts: aa092697

I learned the love of textiles as a child. On dreary, rainy days, my mother would give me a ball of knitting yarn and a pair of needles and together we would knit. Even now, when it is raining outside, my favourite thing is to pick up some wool and begin a new project. The warmth of the fiber and the lovely colours are enough to cheer anyone up.

When I give spinning demonstrations, children are fascinated with the spinning wheel. They love to watch and touch the fiber and are thrilled when they are given a piece of the finished yarn. Children like to explore new materials and textures and to make things. fiber is a great medium for creativity.

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Here a few ideas of things you can do with your kids to teach them about our craft.

Cardboard Loom

You can learn about weaving by making a loom from a cardboard box.

Easter Egg Dyes

Dye wool yarns or Easter eggs with dyes you can find right in your own kitchen.

Felt

If you have some fleece or wool roving, making felt placemats or other items can be an easy and creative activity. Handwork is an important part of the educational program in Waldorf schools. Children learn to wash and card wool. They are taught to spin their wool and knit. Handwork aids in fine motor skill development and stimulates thinking.

The Young Textile Group is active in working with children to learn about textiles. Weaving, embroidery, knitting, feltmaking and papermaking are just a few of the many facets explored.

A fun project that just needs a bit of yarn from your stash, is this yarn octopus.

Children also love to work with colour. Kool-aid dyeing is a fun thing to do with kids. This project is best to do outdoors.

Family Fun Craft Projects

Weaving Demonstration at Mudchute Farm

Craft Kits

I Taught Myself Knitting Beginners Kit
Kit includes book (with instructions for left handers) single point needle pair in size 6 and 8 a knit tally cable stitch needles stitch holders tapestry yarn needles 3/4 cabone rings point protectors and a knitting gauge.

The Knit Kit Tadpole Knitting Board Scarf Kit with DVD
The knitting board is a centuries old hand knitting tool that creates beautiful, double knit.

Flexiloom – Mitten Loom Set
This loom set is great for making knit mittens. You can also make: preemie hats, scarves, hot pads, socks, baby booties, and much more. The set comes complete with (1) 18 peg preemie loom (3 3/4″ diameter), (1) 12 peg thumb loom (2″ diameter), (1) steel pick tool with a comfort grip handel, and a instruction sheet for making mittens.

Beka Rigid Heddle Childs Loom 10″
An excellent loom for the beginning weaver, it also performs well as a portable loom for more experienced weavers. This loom features Beka rigid heddles which provide the weaver with an easy and reliable method of weaving. Both simple and complex techniques may be done with this loom.

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ANTIQUE SPINNING WHEEL / WALNUT / 33” HIGH

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Charkha book style spinning wheel

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