Weaving History

Weaving History

20,000 to 30,000 years ago early man developed the first string by twisting together handfuls of plant fibers. Preparing thin bundles of plant material and stretching them out while twisting them together produced a fine string or thread.
The ability to produce string and thread was the starting place for the development of weaving, spinning, and sewing.
During the early Neolithic Era simple weaving looms were developed. Simple weaving looms are man made tools to hold the warp (vertical) threads snugly in order allowing the weaver to insert the weft threads.
The two early weaving looms are the horizontal ground loom and the warp weighted loom.
The horizontal ground loom is a simple arrangement of sticks and poles driven into the ground. The weaver measures out the length and width needed for weaving the cloth and drives the sticks firmly into the ground.
The warp (vertical) threads are wound onto the sticks and tied in place. The weaver works the weft (horizontal) threads, by hand, through the stretched out warp.
The ground loom is still used today by the Bedouin weavers of the Near East.
The warp weighted loom is made from large wooden poles tied together in a rectangular shape. The poles can be mounted on a wall or dug into the ground to make a freestanding loom.
The warp (vertical) threads are tied to the top pole. At the bottom of the frame the warp threads are tied together in groups and secured to clay or stone weights.
The weaver places the weft threads through the warp by hand while standing in front of the loom.
By 1400, the draw loom was widely used. The Draw Loom is a very large and complicated loom.
The early Draw Looms required 2 people, the weaver and the draw boy, to operate them. The draw boy sits on top of the loom. Under the direction of the weaver he raises and lowers individual heddles attached to each pattern warp thread.
This method of weaving produces cloth with very intricate patterns.
The early 1800s saw the development of the Jacquard Machine. This revolutionary machine used a punch card mechanism to operate the loom and is credited as the basis of modern computer science.
This complicated machine was added to the top of the weaving loom. A series of card with holes punched in them is continuously run through the machine. The Jacquard Machine is able to move individual warp threads up and down according to the pattern of holes punched into the cards.
Cloth woven on a loom with a Jacquard Machine can have very intricate patterns.
Extracted from http://www.alientravelguide.com/
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