Wednesday, 30 August 2017

One Impressive Beast of a Jacquard Loom

Have you ever been to Berlin, the one in Germany? And if so, have you been to the Technikmuseum in Berlin? It is a museum on technical and mechanical manufacture and in the entry hall of the museum, even before you enter the museum proper, there is a beautiful - BEAUTIFUL - 'Jacquard Loom' on display. I was instantaneously fascinated and have wanted to share it here with you since forever.  =)

Deutsches Technikmuseum


The Jacquard loom was invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard, was first demonstrated in 1801, and simplified the process of manufacturing textiles with complex patterns like brocade, damask and matelasse. The Jacquard loom was so called a power loom, which is a mechanised loom powered by a line shaft.



Jacquard Loom, webstuhl, Ribbon weaving, Puppilalla
side view


Wikipedia claims: 'A line shaft is a power driven rotating shaft for power transmission that was used extensively from the Industrial Revolution until the early 20th century. Prior to the widespread use of electric motors small enough to be connected directly to each piece of machinery, line shafting was used to distribute power from a large central power source to machinery throughout a workshop or an industrial complex. The central power source could be a water wheel, turbine, windmill, animal power or a steam engine. Power was distributed from the shaft to the machinery by a system of belts, pulleys and gears known as millwork'

Jacquard Loom, webstuhl, Ribbon weaving, Puppilalla
seen from above

Jacquard Loom, webstuhl, Ribbon weaving, Puppilalla



'The loom was controlled by a "chain of cards", a number of punched cards, laced together into a continuous sequence. Multiple rows of holes were punched on each card, with one complete card corresponding to one row of the design. Chains, like Bouchon's earlier use of paper tape, allowed sequences of any length to be constructed, not limited by the size of a card.' Fascinating stuff isn't it?

Jacquard Loom, webstuhl, Ribbon weaving, Puppilalla, mechanised weaving
rear view
Jacquard Loom, webstuhl, Ribbon weaving, Puppilalla
weights and counter weights


'Each position in the card corresponds to a hook, which could either be raised or stopped dependent on whether the hole was punched out of the card or the card was solid. The hook raised or lowered the harness, which carried and guided the warp thread so that the weft would either lie above or below it. The sequence of raised and lowered threads is what created the pattern. Each hook could be connected to a number of threads, allowing more than one repeat of a pattern.'

Jacquard Loom, webstuhl, Ribbon weaving, Puppilalla


This particular loom was built in 1920 in Wuppertal and is made entirely of wood and metal. It's measurements are as follows: lenght 5100 mm x width 2400 mm x height 3550 mm. As said above , it is an impressive beast of a loom. It was possible to weave either highly complex fabrics or up to 18 seperate ribbons at the same time (!). That is seriously sophisticated.

Jacquard Loom, webstuhl, Ribbon weaving, Puppilalla


'Jacquard's machine could weave fabrics 24 times faster than the draw loom generally in use then. Its introduction into the silk mills of Lyons created an uproar. Weavers were afraid of losing their jobs and there were fierce riots in the streets. The patent had to be taken on by the state to protect Jacquard's life.'

Jacquard Loom, webstuhl, Ribbon weaving, Puppilalla


The history around that invention is interesting and rather than reiterating it here, I would have you read this article, which gives you the entire backstory. I seriously could spent hours and hours prowling around this loom because its complexity and the ingenuity of its workings is nothing short of magnificent. 

So far so good, I hope you enjoyed this little peek into the foyer of the Technikmuseum in Berlin.   =)



6 comments:

  1. Fantastic. If I ever get to Berlin I will have to go.

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  2. An intrepid machine! Truly amazing...thanks for sharing xAli

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  3. Very interesting. Thank you for all your detail.

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  4. Fascinating. I have done just enough weaving to know how complicated a jacquard weave can be, but this monster certainly looks up to the task.

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  5. Thanks for sharing!! Very cool!

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  6. Wow, thanks for sharing! So cool!

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