Weaving

Weaving

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Weaver redirects here.

Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads
Yarn
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery and ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or...

 are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

 or cloth. The other methods are knitting
Knitting
Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can...

, lace making and felting
Felt
Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibres. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can be of any colour, and made into any shape or size....

. The longitudinal threads are called the warp
Warp (weaving)
In weaving cloth, the warp is the set of lengthwise yarns that are held in tension on a frame or loom. The yarn that is inserted over-and-under the warp threads is called the weft, woof, or filler. Each individual warp thread in a fabric is called a warp end or end. Warp means "that which is thrown...

 and the lateral threads are the weft
Weft
In weaving, weft or woof is the yarn which is drawn through the warp yarns to create cloth. In North America, it is sometimes referred to as the "fill" or the "filling yarn"....

 or filling. The method in which these threads are inter woven affects the characteristics of the cloth.

Cloth is usually woven on a loom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

, a device that holds the warp threads in place while filling threads are woven through them. Weft is an old English word meaning "that which is woven". A fabric band which meets this definition of cloth (warp threads with a weft thread winding between) can also be made using other methods, including tablet weaving
Tablet weaving
Tablet Weaving is a weaving technique where tablets or cards are used to create the shed through which the weft is passed. The technique is limited to narrow work such as belts, straps, or garment trim....

, back-strap, or other techniques without looms.

The way the warp and filling threads interlace with each other is called the weave. The majority of woven products are created with one of three basic weaves: plain weave
Plain weave
Plain weave is the most basic of three fundamental types of textile weaves . It is strong and hard-wearing, used for fashion and furnishing fabrics....

, satin weave
Satin weave
Satin weave is one of the three important textile weaves. The satin weave is distinguished by its lustrous, or 'silky', appearance...

, or twill
Twill
Twill is a type of textile weave with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs . This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a "step" or offset between rows to create the characteristic diagonal pattern. Because of this...

. Woven cloth can be plain (in one colour or a simple pattern), or can be woven in decorative or artistic designs.

Process and terminology



In general, weaving involves using a loom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

 to interlace of two sets of threads at right angles
Perpendicular
In geometry, two lines or planes are considered perpendicular to each other if they form congruent adjacent angles . The term may be used as a noun or adjective...

 to each other: the warp
Warp (weaving)
In weaving cloth, the warp is the set of lengthwise yarns that are held in tension on a frame or loom. The yarn that is inserted over-and-under the warp threads is called the weft, woof, or filler. Each individual warp thread in a fabric is called a warp end or end. Warp means "that which is thrown...

 and the weft
Weft
In weaving, weft or woof is the yarn which is drawn through the warp yarns to create cloth. In North America, it is sometimes referred to as the "fill" or the "filling yarn"....

 (older woof). One warp thread is called and an end and one weft thread is a pick The warp threads are held taut and in parallel
Parallel (geometry)
Parallelism is a term in geometry and in everyday life that refers to a property in Euclidean space of two or more lines or planes, or a combination of these. The assumed existence and properties of parallel lines are the basis of Euclid's parallel postulate. Two lines in a plane that do not...

 order, typically in a loom of which there are many different types. Weaving can be summarised as a repetition of these three actions.
  • Shedding: where the ends are separated by raising or lowering heald frames (heddles) to form a clear space where the pick can pass
  • Picking:where the weft or pick is propelled across the loom by an air-jet, a rapier or a shuttle
    Shuttle
    The original meaning of the word shuttle is the device used in weaving to carry the weft. By reference to the continual to-and-fro motion associated with that, the term was then applied in transportation and then in other spheres...

  • Beating-up or battening: where the weft is pushed up against the fell of the cloth by the reed
    Reed (weaving)
    A reed is part of a loom, and resembles a comb. It is used to push the weft yarn securely into place as it is woven, separates the threads and keeps them in their positions, keeping them untangled, and guides the shuttle as it moves across the loom. It consists of a frame with lots of vertical...

    .


The principal parts of a loom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

 are the frame, the warp-beam or weavers beam, the cloth-roll, the heddles, and their mounting, the reed
Reed
- Musical instruments :* Single-reed instrument, a woodwind instrument that uses only one reed to produce sound* Double reed instrument, a woodwind instrument that uses two reeds to produce sound...

. The warp-beam is a wooden or metal cylinder back of the loom on which the warp is wound. The threads of the warp extend in parallel order from the warp-beam to the front of the loom, and are attached to the cloth-roll. Each thread or group of threads of the warp passes through an opening (eye) of a heddle. The warp threads are separated by the heddles into two or more groups, each controlled and automatically drawn up and down by the motion of the heddles. In the case of small patterns the movement of the heddles is controlled by “cams” which move up the heddles by means of a frame called a harness; in larger patterns the heddles are controlled by a dobby mechanism, where the healds are raised according to pegs inserted into a revolving drum. Where a complex design is required, the healds are raised by harness cords attached to a Jacquard machine. Every time the harness (the heddles) moves up or down, an opening (shed
Shed (weaving)
In weaving, the shed is the temporary separation between upper and lower warp yarns through which the weft is woven. The shed is created to make it easy to interlace the weft into the warp and thus create woven fabric. Most types of looms have some sort of device which separates some of the warp...

) is made between the threads of warp, through which the pick is inserted.

On a conventional loom, the weft thread is carried on a pirn
Pirn
A pirn is a rod onto which weft thread is wound for use in weaving. Unlike a bobbin, it is fixed in place, and the thread is delivered off the end of the pirn rather than from the center. A typical pirn is made of wood or plastic and is slightly tapered for most of its length, flaring out more...

, in a shuttle
Shuttle (weaving)
A shuttle is a tool designed to neatly and compactly store weft yarn while weaving. Shuttles are thrown or passed back and forth through the shed, between the yarn threads of the warp in order to weave in the weft....

 that passes through the shed. A handloom weaver would propel the shuttle by throwing it from side to side with the aid of a picking stick
Flying shuttle
The flying shuttle was one of the key developments in weaving that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution. It was patented by John Kay in 1733. Only one weaver was needed to control its lever-driven motion. Before the shuttle, a single weaver could not weave a fabric wider than arms length. Beyond...

, on a power loom
Power loom
A power loom is a mechanized loom powered by a line shaft. The first power loom was designed in 1784 by Edmund Cartwright and first built in 1785. It was refined over the next 47 years until a design by Kenworthy and Bullough, made the operation completely automatic. This was known as the...

 the "picking΅ is done by rapidly hitting the shuttle from each side using an overpick or underpick mechanism controlled by cams. This will happen at between 80-250 times a minute. When a pirn is deplete, it is ejected from the shuttle and replaced with the next pirn held in a battery attached to the loom. Multiple shuttle boxes allow more than one shuttle to be used. Each can carry a different colour which allows banding across the loom.

The rapier-type weaving machines do not have shuttles, they propel the weft by means of small grippers or rapiers that pick up the filling thread and carry it halfway across the loom where another rapier picks it up and pulls it the rest of the way. Some carry the filling yarns across the loom at rates in excess of 2,000 meters per minute. Manufacturers such as Picanol
Picanol
The Picanol Group is an international group specialized in development, production and sales of weaving machines and technology for the textile industry and others. Over the years, the Picanol Group has managed to become one of the world leaders in its sector. Two core divisions focus on the target...

 have reduced the mechanical adjustments to a minimum, and control all the functions through a computer with a graphical user interface
Graphical user interface
In computing, a graphical user interface is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices with images rather than text commands. GUIs can be used in computers, hand-held devices such as MP3 players, portable media players or gaming devices, household appliances and...

.Other types use compressed air to insert the pick, and others small projectiles. They are all fast, versatile and quiet.

The handloom weaver sizes his warp in starch mixture for smoother running. He warps his loom ( loomed or dressed) by passing the warp threads through heddle
Heddle
A heddle is an integral part of a loom. Each thread in the warp passes through a heddle, which is used to separate the warp threads for the passage of the weft. The typical heddle is made of cord or wire, and is suspended on a shaft of a loom. Each heddle has an eye in the center where the warp is...

s on two or more harnesses. The power weavers loom is warped by separate workers. In operation the warp threads are moved up or down by the harnesses creating a space called the shed
Shed (weaving)
In weaving, the shed is the temporary separation between upper and lower warp yarns through which the weft is woven. The shed is created to make it easy to interlace the weft into the warp and thus create woven fabric. Most types of looms have some sort of device which separates some of the warp...

 through which the pick will pass. The harnesses can be controlled by cams, dobbies or a Jacquard head.
The raising and lowering sequence of warp threads in various sequences gives rise to many possible weave structures:
  • plain weave
    Plain weave
    Plain weave is the most basic of three fundamental types of textile weaves . It is strong and hard-wearing, used for fashion and furnishing fabrics....

    : plain, and hopsacks, poplin
    Poplin
    Poplin, also called tabinet , is a strong fabric in a plain weave of any fiber or blend, with crosswise ribs that typically gives a corded surface.Poplin traditionally consisted of a silk warp with a weft of worsted yarn...

    , taffeta
    Taffeta
    Taffeta is a crisp, smooth plain woven fabric made from silk or synthetic fibers. The word is Persian in origin, and means "twisted woven." It is considered to be a "high end" fabric, suitable for use in ball gowns, wedding dresses, and in interiors for curtains or wallcovering. There are two...

    , poult and grosgrain..
  • twill weave: these are described by weft float followed by warp float, arranged to give diagonal pattern. 2/1 twill, 3/3 twill, 1/2 twill. These are softer fabrics than plain weaves. ,
  • satin weave
    Satin weave
    Satin weave is one of the three important textile weaves. The satin weave is distinguished by its lustrous, or 'silky', appearance...

    : satin
    Satin
    Satin is a weave that typically has a glossy surface and a dull back. It is a warp-dominated weaving technique that forms a minimum number of interlacings in a fabric. If a fabric is formed with a satin weave using filament fibres such as silk, nylon, or polyester, the corresponding fabric is...

    s and sateen
    Sateen
    Sateen, not to be confused with satin, is a type of fabric often found in bed sheets.Sateen is usually applied to cotton, or sometimes rayon. Better qualities are mercerized to give a higher sheen. Some are only calendered to produce the sheen but this disappears with washing and is not considered...

    s,
  • complex computer-generated interlacings.
  • pile fabrics : such as velvet
    Velvet
    Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed,with a short dense pile, giving it a distinctive feel.The word 'velvety' is used as an adjective to mean -"smooth like velvet".-Composition:...

    s and velveteen
    Velveteen
    Velveteen is a cloth made in imitation of velvet. Normally cotton, the term is sometimes applied to a mixture of silk and cotton. Some velveteens are a kind of fustian, having a rib of velvet pile alternating with a plain depression. This fabric has a pile that is short , and is closely set. It has...

    s


Both warp and weft can be visible in the final product. By spacing the warp more closely, it can completely cover the weft that binds it, giving a warp faced textile such as repp weave.
Conversely, if the warp is spread out, the weft can slide down and completely cover the warp, giving a weft faced textile, such as a tapestry
Tapestry
Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven on a vertical loom, however it can also be woven on a floor loom as well. It is composed of two sets of interlaced threads, those running parallel to the length and those parallel to the width ; the warp threads are set up under tension on a...

 or a Kilim
Kilim
Kilims are flat tapestry-woven carpets or rugs produced from the Balkans to Pakistan. Kilims can be purely decorative or can function as prayer rugs. Recently-made kilims are popular floor-coverings in Western households.-Etymology:...

 rug. There are a variety of loom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

 styles for hand weaving and tapestry. In tapestry, the image is created by placing various colors of weft
Weft
In weaving, weft or woof is the yarn which is drawn through the warp yarns to create cloth. In North America, it is sometimes referred to as the "fill" or the "filling yarn"....

 only in certain warp areas, rather than across the entire warp width.

History



There are some indications that weaving was already known in the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 era. An indistinct textile impression has been found at Pavlov
Pavlov
-People:*Pavlov *Ivan Pavlov, a psychologist famous for his experiment in classical conditioning.-Places:*in the Czech Republic:**Pavlov **Pavlov **Pavlov **Pavlov...

, Moravia. Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 textiles are well known from finds in pile dwellings in Switzerland. One extant fragment from the Neolithic was found in Fayum, at a site dated to about 5000 BCE. This fragment is woven at about 12 threads by 9 threads per cm in a plain weave. Flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

 was the predominant fibre in Egypt at this time (3600 BCE) and continued popularity in the Nile Valley
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

, though wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

 became the primary fibre used in other cultures around 2000 BCE.

By biblical times, weaving was known in all the great civilisation but no clear line of causality has been established. Early looms required two people to create the shed, and one person to pass through the filling. Early looms wove a fixed length of cloth but later ones allowed warp to be wound out as the fell progressed. The weavers were often children or slaves. Weaving became simpler when the warp was sized.

Weaver (occupation) redirects here.

Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads
Yarn
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery and ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or...

 are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

 or cloth. The other methods are knitting
Knitting
Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can...

, lace making and felting
Felt
Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibres. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can be of any colour, and made into any shape or size....

. The longitudinal threads are called the warp
Warp (weaving)
In weaving cloth, the warp is the set of lengthwise yarns that are held in tension on a frame or loom. The yarn that is inserted over-and-under the warp threads is called the weft, woof, or filler. Each individual warp thread in a fabric is called a warp end or end. Warp means "that which is thrown...

 and the lateral threads are the weft
Weft
In weaving, weft or woof is the yarn which is drawn through the warp yarns to create cloth. In North America, it is sometimes referred to as the "fill" or the "filling yarn"....

 or filling. The method in which these threads are inter woven affects the characteristics of the cloth.

Cloth is usually woven on a loom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

, a device that holds the warp threads in place while filling threads are woven through them. Weft is an old English word meaning "that which is woven". A fabric band which meets this definition of cloth (warp threads with a weft thread winding between) can also be made using other methods, including tablet weaving
Tablet weaving
Tablet Weaving is a weaving technique where tablets or cards are used to create the shed through which the weft is passed. The technique is limited to narrow work such as belts, straps, or garment trim....

, back-strap, or other techniques without looms.

The way the warp and filling threads interlace with each other is called the weave. The majority of woven products are created with one of three basic weaves: plain weave
Plain weave
Plain weave is the most basic of three fundamental types of textile weaves . It is strong and hard-wearing, used for fashion and furnishing fabrics....

, satin weave
Satin weave
Satin weave is one of the three important textile weaves. The satin weave is distinguished by its lustrous, or 'silky', appearance...

, or twill
Twill
Twill is a type of textile weave with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs . This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a "step" or offset between rows to create the characteristic diagonal pattern. Because of this...

. Woven cloth can be plain (in one colour or a simple pattern), or can be woven in decorative or artistic designs.

Process and terminology



In general, weaving involves using a loom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

 to interlace of two sets of threads at right angles
Perpendicular
In geometry, two lines or planes are considered perpendicular to each other if they form congruent adjacent angles . The term may be used as a noun or adjective...

 to each other: the warp
Warp (weaving)
In weaving cloth, the warp is the set of lengthwise yarns that are held in tension on a frame or loom. The yarn that is inserted over-and-under the warp threads is called the weft, woof, or filler. Each individual warp thread in a fabric is called a warp end or end. Warp means "that which is thrown...

 and the weft
Weft
In weaving, weft or woof is the yarn which is drawn through the warp yarns to create cloth. In North America, it is sometimes referred to as the "fill" or the "filling yarn"....

 (older woof). One warp thread is called and an end and one weft thread is a pick The warp threads are held taut and in parallel
Parallel (geometry)
Parallelism is a term in geometry and in everyday life that refers to a property in Euclidean space of two or more lines or planes, or a combination of these. The assumed existence and properties of parallel lines are the basis of Euclid's parallel postulate. Two lines in a plane that do not...

 order, typically in a loom of which there are many different types. Weaving can be summarised as a repetition of these three actions.
  • Shedding: where the ends are separated by raising or lowering heald frames (heddles) to form a clear space where the pick can pass
  • Picking:where the weft or pick is propelled across the loom by an air-jet, a rapier or a shuttle
    Shuttle
    The original meaning of the word shuttle is the device used in weaving to carry the weft. By reference to the continual to-and-fro motion associated with that, the term was then applied in transportation and then in other spheres...

  • Beating-up or battening: where the weft is pushed up against the fell of the cloth by the reed
    Reed (weaving)
    A reed is part of a loom, and resembles a comb. It is used to push the weft yarn securely into place as it is woven, separates the threads and keeps them in their positions, keeping them untangled, and guides the shuttle as it moves across the loom. It consists of a frame with lots of vertical...

    .


The principal parts of a loom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

 are the frame, the warp-beam or weavers beam, the cloth-roll, the heddles, and their mounting, the reed
Reed
- Musical instruments :* Single-reed instrument, a woodwind instrument that uses only one reed to produce sound* Double reed instrument, a woodwind instrument that uses two reeds to produce sound...

. The warp-beam is a wooden or metal cylinder back of the loom on which the warp is wound. The threads of the warp extend in parallel order from the warp-beam to the front of the loom, and are attached to the cloth-roll. Each thread or group of threads of the warp passes through an opening (eye) of a heddle. The warp threads are separated by the heddles into two or more groups, each controlled and automatically drawn up and down by the motion of the heddles. In the case of small patterns the movement of the heddles is controlled by “cams” which move up the heddles by means of a frame called a harness; in larger patterns the heddles are controlled by a dobby mechanism, where the healds are raised according to pegs inserted into a revolving drum. Where a complex design is required, the healds are raised by harness cords attached to a Jacquard machine. Every time the harness (the heddles) moves up or down, an opening (shed
Shed (weaving)
In weaving, the shed is the temporary separation between upper and lower warp yarns through which the weft is woven. The shed is created to make it easy to interlace the weft into the warp and thus create woven fabric. Most types of looms have some sort of device which separates some of the warp...

) is made between the threads of warp, through which the pick is inserted.

On a conventional loom, the weft thread is carried on a pirn
Pirn
A pirn is a rod onto which weft thread is wound for use in weaving. Unlike a bobbin, it is fixed in place, and the thread is delivered off the end of the pirn rather than from the center. A typical pirn is made of wood or plastic and is slightly tapered for most of its length, flaring out more...

, in a shuttle
Shuttle (weaving)
A shuttle is a tool designed to neatly and compactly store weft yarn while weaving. Shuttles are thrown or passed back and forth through the shed, between the yarn threads of the warp in order to weave in the weft....

 that passes through the shed. A handloom weaver would propel the shuttle by throwing it from side to side with the aid of a picking stick
Flying shuttle
The flying shuttle was one of the key developments in weaving that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution. It was patented by John Kay in 1733. Only one weaver was needed to control its lever-driven motion. Before the shuttle, a single weaver could not weave a fabric wider than arms length. Beyond...

, on a power loom
Power loom
A power loom is a mechanized loom powered by a line shaft. The first power loom was designed in 1784 by Edmund Cartwright and first built in 1785. It was refined over the next 47 years until a design by Kenworthy and Bullough, made the operation completely automatic. This was known as the...

 the "picking΅ is done by rapidly hitting the shuttle from each side using an overpick or underpick mechanism controlled by cams. This will happen at between 80-250 times a minute. When a pirn is deplete, it is ejected from the shuttle and replaced with the next pirn held in a battery attached to the loom. Multiple shuttle boxes allow more than one shuttle to be used. Each can carry a different colour which allows banding across the loom.

The rapier-type weaving machines do not have shuttles, they propel the weft by means of small grippers or rapiers that pick up the filling thread and carry it halfway across the loom where another rapier picks it up and pulls it the rest of the way. Some carry the filling yarns across the loom at rates in excess of 2,000 meters per minute. Manufacturers such as Picanol
Picanol
The Picanol Group is an international group specialized in development, production and sales of weaving machines and technology for the textile industry and others. Over the years, the Picanol Group has managed to become one of the world leaders in its sector. Two core divisions focus on the target...

 have reduced the mechanical adjustments to a minimum, and control all the functions through a computer with a graphical user interface
Graphical user interface
In computing, a graphical user interface is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices with images rather than text commands. GUIs can be used in computers, hand-held devices such as MP3 players, portable media players or gaming devices, household appliances and...

.Other types use compressed air to insert the pick, and others small projectiles. They are all fast, versatile and quiet.

The handloom weaver sizes his warp in starch mixture for smoother running. He warps his loom ( loomed or dressed) by passing the warp threads through heddle
Heddle
A heddle is an integral part of a loom. Each thread in the warp passes through a heddle, which is used to separate the warp threads for the passage of the weft. The typical heddle is made of cord or wire, and is suspended on a shaft of a loom. Each heddle has an eye in the center where the warp is...

s on two or more harnesses. The power weavers loom is warped by separate workers. In operation the warp threads are moved up or down by the harnesses creating a space called the shed
Shed (weaving)
In weaving, the shed is the temporary separation between upper and lower warp yarns through which the weft is woven. The shed is created to make it easy to interlace the weft into the warp and thus create woven fabric. Most types of looms have some sort of device which separates some of the warp...

 through which the pick will pass. The harnesses can be controlled by cams, dobbies or a Jacquard head.
The raising and lowering sequence of warp threads in various sequences gives rise to many possible weave structures:
  • plain weave
    Plain weave
    Plain weave is the most basic of three fundamental types of textile weaves . It is strong and hard-wearing, used for fashion and furnishing fabrics....

    : plain, and hopsacks, poplin
    Poplin
    Poplin, also called tabinet , is a strong fabric in a plain weave of any fiber or blend, with crosswise ribs that typically gives a corded surface.Poplin traditionally consisted of a silk warp with a weft of worsted yarn...

    , taffeta
    Taffeta
    Taffeta is a crisp, smooth plain woven fabric made from silk or synthetic fibers. The word is Persian in origin, and means "twisted woven." It is considered to be a "high end" fabric, suitable for use in ball gowns, wedding dresses, and in interiors for curtains or wallcovering. There are two...

    , poult and grosgrain..
  • twill weave: these are described by weft float followed by warp float, arranged to give diagonal pattern. 2/1 twill, 3/3 twill, 1/2 twill. These are softer fabrics than plain weaves. ,
  • satin weave
    Satin weave
    Satin weave is one of the three important textile weaves. The satin weave is distinguished by its lustrous, or 'silky', appearance...

    : satin
    Satin
    Satin is a weave that typically has a glossy surface and a dull back. It is a warp-dominated weaving technique that forms a minimum number of interlacings in a fabric. If a fabric is formed with a satin weave using filament fibres such as silk, nylon, or polyester, the corresponding fabric is...

    s and sateen
    Sateen
    Sateen, not to be confused with satin, is a type of fabric often found in bed sheets.Sateen is usually applied to cotton, or sometimes rayon. Better qualities are mercerized to give a higher sheen. Some are only calendered to produce the sheen but this disappears with washing and is not considered...

    s,
  • complex computer-generated interlacings.
  • pile fabrics : such as velvet
    Velvet
    Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed,with a short dense pile, giving it a distinctive feel.The word 'velvety' is used as an adjective to mean -"smooth like velvet".-Composition:...

    s and velveteen
    Velveteen
    Velveteen is a cloth made in imitation of velvet. Normally cotton, the term is sometimes applied to a mixture of silk and cotton. Some velveteens are a kind of fustian, having a rib of velvet pile alternating with a plain depression. This fabric has a pile that is short , and is closely set. It has...

    s


Both warp and weft can be visible in the final product. By spacing the warp more closely, it can completely cover the weft that binds it, giving a warp faced textile such as repp weave.
Conversely, if the warp is spread out, the weft can slide down and completely cover the warp, giving a weft faced textile, such as a tapestry
Tapestry
Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven on a vertical loom, however it can also be woven on a floor loom as well. It is composed of two sets of interlaced threads, those running parallel to the length and those parallel to the width ; the warp threads are set up under tension on a...

 or a Kilim
Kilim
Kilims are flat tapestry-woven carpets or rugs produced from the Balkans to Pakistan. Kilims can be purely decorative or can function as prayer rugs. Recently-made kilims are popular floor-coverings in Western households.-Etymology:...

 rug. There are a variety of loom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

 styles for hand weaving and tapestry. In tapestry, the image is created by placing various colors of weft
Weft
In weaving, weft or woof is the yarn which is drawn through the warp yarns to create cloth. In North America, it is sometimes referred to as the "fill" or the "filling yarn"....

 only in certain warp areas, rather than across the entire warp width.

History



There are some indications that weaving was already known in the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 era. An indistinct textile impression has been found at Pavlov
Pavlov
-People:*Pavlov *Ivan Pavlov, a psychologist famous for his experiment in classical conditioning.-Places:*in the Czech Republic:**Pavlov **Pavlov **Pavlov **Pavlov...

, Moravia. Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 textiles are well known from finds in pile dwellings in Switzerland. One extant fragment from the Neolithic was found in Fayum, at a site dated to about 5000 BCE. This fragment is woven at about 12 threads by 9 threads per cm in a plain weave. Flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

 was the predominant fibre in Egypt at this time (3600 BCE) and continued popularity in the Nile Valley
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

, though wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

 became the primary fibre used in other cultures around 2000 BCE.

By biblical times, weaving was known in all the great civilisation but no clear line of causality has been established. Early looms required two people to create the shed, and one person to pass through the filling. Early looms wove a fixed length of cloth but later ones allowed warp to be wound out as the fell progressed. The weavers were often children or slaves. Weaving became simpler when the warp was sized.

Weaver (occupation) redirects here.

Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads
Yarn
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery and ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or...

 are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

 or cloth. The other methods are knitting
Knitting
Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can...

, lace making and felting
Felt
Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibres. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can be of any colour, and made into any shape or size....

. The longitudinal threads are called the warp
Warp (weaving)
In weaving cloth, the warp is the set of lengthwise yarns that are held in tension on a frame or loom. The yarn that is inserted over-and-under the warp threads is called the weft, woof, or filler. Each individual warp thread in a fabric is called a warp end or end. Warp means "that which is thrown...

 and the lateral threads are the weft
Weft
In weaving, weft or woof is the yarn which is drawn through the warp yarns to create cloth. In North America, it is sometimes referred to as the "fill" or the "filling yarn"....

 or filling. The method in which these threads are inter woven affects the characteristics of the cloth.

Cloth is usually woven on a loom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

, a device that holds the warp threads in place while filling threads are woven through them. Weft is an old English word meaning "that which is woven". A fabric band which meets this definition of cloth (warp threads with a weft thread winding between) can also be made using other methods, including tablet weaving
Tablet weaving
Tablet Weaving is a weaving technique where tablets or cards are used to create the shed through which the weft is passed. The technique is limited to narrow work such as belts, straps, or garment trim....

, back-strap, or other techniques without looms.

The way the warp and filling threads interlace with each other is called the weave. The majority of woven products are created with one of three basic weaves: plain weave
Plain weave
Plain weave is the most basic of three fundamental types of textile weaves . It is strong and hard-wearing, used for fashion and furnishing fabrics....

, satin weave
Satin weave
Satin weave is one of the three important textile weaves. The satin weave is distinguished by its lustrous, or 'silky', appearance...

, or twill
Twill
Twill is a type of textile weave with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs . This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a "step" or offset between rows to create the characteristic diagonal pattern. Because of this...

. Woven cloth can be plain (in one colour or a simple pattern), or can be woven in decorative or artistic designs.

Process and terminology



In general, weaving involves using a loom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

 to interlace of two sets of threads at right angles
Perpendicular
In geometry, two lines or planes are considered perpendicular to each other if they form congruent adjacent angles . The term may be used as a noun or adjective...

 to each other: the warp
Warp (weaving)
In weaving cloth, the warp is the set of lengthwise yarns that are held in tension on a frame or loom. The yarn that is inserted over-and-under the warp threads is called the weft, woof, or filler. Each individual warp thread in a fabric is called a warp end or end. Warp means "that which is thrown...

 and the weft
Weft
In weaving, weft or woof is the yarn which is drawn through the warp yarns to create cloth. In North America, it is sometimes referred to as the "fill" or the "filling yarn"....

 (older woof). One warp thread is called and an end and one weft thread is a pick The warp threads are held taut and in parallel
Parallel (geometry)
Parallelism is a term in geometry and in everyday life that refers to a property in Euclidean space of two or more lines or planes, or a combination of these. The assumed existence and properties of parallel lines are the basis of Euclid's parallel postulate. Two lines in a plane that do not...

 order, typically in a loom of which there are many different types. Weaving can be summarised as a repetition of these three actions.
  • Shedding: where the ends are separated by raising or lowering heald frames (heddles) to form a clear space where the pick can pass
  • Picking:where the weft or pick is propelled across the loom by an air-jet, a rapier or a shuttle
    Shuttle
    The original meaning of the word shuttle is the device used in weaving to carry the weft. By reference to the continual to-and-fro motion associated with that, the term was then applied in transportation and then in other spheres...

  • Beating-up or battening: where the weft is pushed up against the fell of the cloth by the reed
    Reed (weaving)
    A reed is part of a loom, and resembles a comb. It is used to push the weft yarn securely into place as it is woven, separates the threads and keeps them in their positions, keeping them untangled, and guides the shuttle as it moves across the loom. It consists of a frame with lots of vertical...

    .


The principal parts of a loom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

 are the frame, the warp-beam or weavers beam, the cloth-roll, the heddles, and their mounting, the reed
Reed
- Musical instruments :* Single-reed instrument, a woodwind instrument that uses only one reed to produce sound* Double reed instrument, a woodwind instrument that uses two reeds to produce sound...

. The warp-beam is a wooden or metal cylinder back of the loom on which the warp is wound. The threads of the warp extend in parallel order from the warp-beam to the front of the loom, and are attached to the cloth-roll. Each thread or group of threads of the warp passes through an opening (eye) of a heddle. The warp threads are separated by the heddles into two or more groups, each controlled and automatically drawn up and down by the motion of the heddles. In the case of small patterns the movement of the heddles is controlled by “cams” which move up the heddles by means of a frame called a harness; in larger patterns the heddles are controlled by a dobby mechanism, where the healds are raised according to pegs inserted into a revolving drum. Where a complex design is required, the healds are raised by harness cords attached to a Jacquard machine. Every time the harness (the heddles) moves up or down, an opening (shed
Shed (weaving)
In weaving, the shed is the temporary separation between upper and lower warp yarns through which the weft is woven. The shed is created to make it easy to interlace the weft into the warp and thus create woven fabric. Most types of looms have some sort of device which separates some of the warp...

) is made between the threads of warp, through which the pick is inserted.

On a conventional loom, the weft thread is carried on a pirn
Pirn
A pirn is a rod onto which weft thread is wound for use in weaving. Unlike a bobbin, it is fixed in place, and the thread is delivered off the end of the pirn rather than from the center. A typical pirn is made of wood or plastic and is slightly tapered for most of its length, flaring out more...

, in a shuttle
Shuttle (weaving)
A shuttle is a tool designed to neatly and compactly store weft yarn while weaving. Shuttles are thrown or passed back and forth through the shed, between the yarn threads of the warp in order to weave in the weft....

 that passes through the shed. A handloom weaver would propel the shuttle by throwing it from side to side with the aid of a picking stick
Flying shuttle
The flying shuttle was one of the key developments in weaving that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution. It was patented by John Kay in 1733. Only one weaver was needed to control its lever-driven motion. Before the shuttle, a single weaver could not weave a fabric wider than arms length. Beyond...

, on a power loom
Power loom
A power loom is a mechanized loom powered by a line shaft. The first power loom was designed in 1784 by Edmund Cartwright and first built in 1785. It was refined over the next 47 years until a design by Kenworthy and Bullough, made the operation completely automatic. This was known as the...

 the "picking΅ is done by rapidly hitting the shuttle from each side using an overpick or underpick mechanism controlled by cams. This will happen at between 80-250 times a minute. When a pirn is deplete, it is ejected from the shuttle and replaced with the next pirn held in a battery attached to the loom. Multiple shuttle boxes allow more than one shuttle to be used. Each can carry a different colour which allows banding across the loom.

The rapier-type weaving machines do not have shuttles, they propel the weft by means of small grippers or rapiers that pick up the filling thread and carry it halfway across the loom where another rapier picks it up and pulls it the rest of the way. Some carry the filling yarns across the loom at rates in excess of 2,000 meters per minute. Manufacturers such as Picanol
Picanol
The Picanol Group is an international group specialized in development, production and sales of weaving machines and technology for the textile industry and others. Over the years, the Picanol Group has managed to become one of the world leaders in its sector. Two core divisions focus on the target...

 have reduced the mechanical adjustments to a minimum, and control all the functions through a computer with a graphical user interface
Graphical user interface
In computing, a graphical user interface is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices with images rather than text commands. GUIs can be used in computers, hand-held devices such as MP3 players, portable media players or gaming devices, household appliances and...

.Other types use compressed air to insert the pick, and others small projectiles. They are all fast, versatile and quiet.

The handloom weaver sizes his warp in starch mixture for smoother running. He warps his loom ( loomed or dressed) by passing the warp threads through heddle
Heddle
A heddle is an integral part of a loom. Each thread in the warp passes through a heddle, which is used to separate the warp threads for the passage of the weft. The typical heddle is made of cord or wire, and is suspended on a shaft of a loom. Each heddle has an eye in the center where the warp is...

s on two or more harnesses. The power weavers loom is warped by separate workers. In operation the warp threads are moved up or down by the harnesses creating a space called the shed
Shed (weaving)
In weaving, the shed is the temporary separation between upper and lower warp yarns through which the weft is woven. The shed is created to make it easy to interlace the weft into the warp and thus create woven fabric. Most types of looms have some sort of device which separates some of the warp...

 through which the pick will pass. The harnesses can be controlled by cams, dobbies or a Jacquard head.
The raising and lowering sequence of warp threads in various sequences gives rise to many possible weave structures:
  • plain weave
    Plain weave
    Plain weave is the most basic of three fundamental types of textile weaves . It is strong and hard-wearing, used for fashion and furnishing fabrics....

    : plain, and hopsacks, poplin
    Poplin
    Poplin, also called tabinet , is a strong fabric in a plain weave of any fiber or blend, with crosswise ribs that typically gives a corded surface.Poplin traditionally consisted of a silk warp with a weft of worsted yarn...

    , taffeta
    Taffeta
    Taffeta is a crisp, smooth plain woven fabric made from silk or synthetic fibers. The word is Persian in origin, and means "twisted woven." It is considered to be a "high end" fabric, suitable for use in ball gowns, wedding dresses, and in interiors for curtains or wallcovering. There are two...

    , poult and grosgrain..
  • twill weave: these are described by weft float followed by warp float, arranged to give diagonal pattern. 2/1 twill, 3/3 twill, 1/2 twill. These are softer fabrics than plain weaves. ,
  • satin weave
    Satin weave
    Satin weave is one of the three important textile weaves. The satin weave is distinguished by its lustrous, or 'silky', appearance...

    : satin
    Satin
    Satin is a weave that typically has a glossy surface and a dull back. It is a warp-dominated weaving technique that forms a minimum number of interlacings in a fabric. If a fabric is formed with a satin weave using filament fibres such as silk, nylon, or polyester, the corresponding fabric is...

    s and sateen
    Sateen
    Sateen, not to be confused with satin, is a type of fabric often found in bed sheets.Sateen is usually applied to cotton, or sometimes rayon. Better qualities are mercerized to give a higher sheen. Some are only calendered to produce the sheen but this disappears with washing and is not considered...

    s,
  • complex computer-generated interlacings.
  • pile fabrics : such as velvet
    Velvet
    Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed,with a short dense pile, giving it a distinctive feel.The word 'velvety' is used as an adjective to mean -"smooth like velvet".-Composition:...

    s and velveteen
    Velveteen
    Velveteen is a cloth made in imitation of velvet. Normally cotton, the term is sometimes applied to a mixture of silk and cotton. Some velveteens are a kind of fustian, having a rib of velvet pile alternating with a plain depression. This fabric has a pile that is short , and is closely set. It has...

    s


Both warp and weft can be visible in the final product. By spacing the warp more closely, it can completely cover the weft that binds it, giving a warp faced textile such as repp weave.
Conversely, if the warp is spread out, the weft can slide down and completely cover the warp, giving a weft faced textile, such as a tapestry
Tapestry
Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven on a vertical loom, however it can also be woven on a floor loom as well. It is composed of two sets of interlaced threads, those running parallel to the length and those parallel to the width ; the warp threads are set up under tension on a...

 or a Kilim
Kilim
Kilims are flat tapestry-woven carpets or rugs produced from the Balkans to Pakistan. Kilims can be purely decorative or can function as prayer rugs. Recently-made kilims are popular floor-coverings in Western households.-Etymology:...

 rug. There are a variety of loom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

 styles for hand weaving and tapestry. In tapestry, the image is created by placing various colors of weft
Weft
In weaving, weft or woof is the yarn which is drawn through the warp yarns to create cloth. In North America, it is sometimes referred to as the "fill" or the "filling yarn"....

 only in certain warp areas, rather than across the entire warp width.

History



There are some indications that weaving was already known in the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 era. An indistinct textile impression has been found at Pavlov
Pavlov
-People:*Pavlov *Ivan Pavlov, a psychologist famous for his experiment in classical conditioning.-Places:*in the Czech Republic:**Pavlov **Pavlov **Pavlov **Pavlov...

, Moravia. Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 textiles are well known from finds in pile dwellings in Switzerland. One extant fragment from the Neolithic was found in Fayum, at a site dated to about 5000 BCE. This fragment is woven at about 12 threads by 9 threads per cm in a plain weave. Flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

 was the predominant fibre in Egypt at this time (3600 BCE) and continued popularity in the Nile Valley
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

, though wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

 became the primary fibre used in other cultures around 2000 BCE.

By biblical times, weaving was known in all the great civilisation but no clear line of causality has been established. Early looms required two people to create the shed, and one person to pass through the filling. Early looms wove a fixed length of cloth but later ones allowed warp to be wound out as the fell progressed. The weavers were often children or slaves. Weaving became simpler when the warp was sized.

Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897)
Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897)
Easton's Bible Dictionary generally refers to the Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, by Matthew George Easton, M.A., D.D. , published in 1897 by Thomas Nelson. Because of its age, it is now a public domain resource. It contains nearly 4,000 entries relating to the Bible, from a 19th...

 refers to numerous Biblical references to weaving in ancient times:

Islamic world


In 700 AD horizontal looms and vertical looms could be found in many parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. One of the innovations of the Islamic Golden Age
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

 was the pit-treadle loom where pedals
Lever
In physics, a lever is a rigid object that is used with an appropriate fulcrum or pivot point to either multiply the mechanical force that can be applied to another object or resistance force , or multiply the distance and speed at which the opposite end of the rigid object travels.This leverage...

 were added to operate heddles. The first such devices appeared in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Iran and Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic parts of East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

, where "the operator sat with his feet in a pit below a fairly low-slung loom.". Islam required the faithful to cover themselves from neck to ankle, increasing the demand for cloth. In Africa, the rich would dress on cotton while the poorer would wear wool.
By 1177, it was further developed in Moorish Spain
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

, where having the mechanism was raised higher above the ground on a more substantial frame. The idea was adopted by Christian woollen weavers, particularly in Flanders. This became the standard European loom, it had the great advantage that the weavers hands were free to pass the shuttle, while the monotonous job of operating the heddles was done by the feet.

Medieval Europe


Production of food was the most common occupation during the Middle Ages. Without mechanisation, artificial irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

  or knowledge of fertilizer
Fertilizer
Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

s the crop yield
Crop yield
In agriculture, crop yield is not only a measure of the yield of cereal per unit area of land under cultivation, yield is also the seed generation of the plant itself...

s were low and the labour requirement to feed the population was high. Of the crafts, cloth production was the most important. The predominant fibre was wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

 followed by linen
Linen
Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum. Linen is labor-intensive to manufacture, but when it is made into garments, it is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather....

. Cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 was introduced to Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 by the Muslim rulers in the 800s, and when Sicily was captured by the Normans
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 they took the technology to Northern Italy
Northern Italy
Northern Italy is a wide cultural, historical and geographical definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the northern part of the Italian state, also referred as Settentrione or Alta Italia...

 and then the rest of Europe. Silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

 fabric production was reintroduced towards the end of this period and became important later when its more sophisticated weaving technology was applied to the other staples.
Originally, the weaver worked at home and marketed his cloth at fair
Trade fair
A trade fair is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products, service, study activities of rivals and examine recent market trends and opportunities...

s. Warp-weighted loom
Warp-weighted loom
The warp-weighted loom is a simple and ancient form of loom in which the warp yarns hang freely from a bar supported by upright poles which can be placed at a convenient slant against a wall. Bundles of warp threads are tied to hanging weights called loom weights which keep the threads taut....

s were commonplace in Europe until the introduction of more advanced horizontal looms in the 10th and 11th centuries. As towns developed, weaving became an urban craft. To regulate their trade, craftsmen applied to establish a guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

. These initially were merchant guilds, but developed into separate trade guilds for each skill. Only a cloth merchant who was a member of that city's weavers guild was allowed to sell cloth, he acted as a middleman between the tradesmen weavers and the purchaser. The trade guilds controlled quality and the training needed before one could call himself a weaver.

By the thirteenth century an organisational change took place, and a system of putting out
Putting-Out system
The putting-out system was a means of subcontracting work. It was also known as the workshop system. In putting-out, work was contracted by a central agent to subcontractors who completed the work in their own facilities, usually their own homes....

 was introduced. Here the cloth merchant purchased the wool and provided it to the weaver who sold his produce back to the merchant. The merchant controlled
Merchant capitalism
Merchant capitalism is a term used by economic historians to refer to the earliest phase in the development of capitalism as an economic and social system. Early forms of merchant capitalism were developed in the medieval Islamic world from the 9th century, and in medieval Europe from the 12th...

 the rates of pay and economically dominated the cloth industry. The merchants' prosperity is reflected in the wool towns of eastern England, Norwich
Norwich
Norwich is a city in England. It is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk. During the 11th century, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important places in the kingdom...

, Bury St Edmunds and Lavenham
Lavenham
Lavenham is a village and civil parish in Suffolk, England. It is noted for its 15th century church, half-timbered medieval cottages and circular walk. In the medieval period it was among the 20 wealthiest settlements in England...

 being good examples. Wool was a political issue. The supply of thread has always limited the work of a weaver. About this time, the spindle method of spinning was replaced by the Great wheel
Great Wheel
The Great Wheel was a Ferris wheel built for the Empire of India Exhibition at Earls Court in London in 1895.Great Wheel may also refer to:* Beijing Great Wheel, a Ferris wheel proposed for Beijing, China...

 ans soon after the treadle driven spinning wheel
Spinning wheel
A spinning wheel is a device for spinning thread or yarn from natural or synthetic fibers. Spinning wheels appeared in Asia, probably in the 11th century, and very gradually replaced hand spinning with spindle and distaff...

. The loom remained the same but with the increased volume of thread it could be operated continuously. .

The fourteenth century saw considerable flux in population. Because the thirteenth century was was a period of relative peace Europe became overpopulated. Poor weather led to a series of poor harvests and starvation. There was great loss of life in the Hundred Years War. Then in 1346, Europe was struck with the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 and the population was reduced by upto a half. Arable land was labour intensive and could no longer be worked. Land prices dropped, and land was sold and put to sheep pasture. Traders from Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 and Bruges were buying the wool, but the sheep-owning landlords started to weave their own wool outside the jurisdiction of the city and trade guilds. At first the weavers worked in their own homes but production was moved into purpose build centralised buildings. Here working hours and the amount of work was regulated. The putting-out system had been replaced by a factory system
Factory system
The factory system was a method of manufacturing first adopted in England at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 1750s and later spread abroad. Fundamentally, each worker created a separate part of the total assembly of a product, thus increasing the efficiency of factories. Workers,...

. .

Huguenot Weavers



Religious persecution by the Catholic monarchs of Europe led first Walloon
Walloon
Wallon may refer to:*Henri-Alexandre Wallon , a French historian and statesman*Henri Wallon , a psychologist and grandson of Henri-Alexandre Wallon...

s from Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

, and then after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) to flee from the great silk weaving cities of France such as Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

 and Tours
Tours
Tours is a city in central France, the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department.It is located on the lower reaches of the river Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Touraine, the region around Tours, is known for its wines, the alleged perfection of its local spoken French, and for the...

. The Huguenot
Huguenot
The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the 17th century, people who formerly would have been called Huguenots have instead simply been called French Protestants, a title suggested by their German co-religionists, the...

s or 'Strangers' arrived in East Kent, and were encouraged to settle in Canterbury
Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

 where they worshipped in the crypt of the cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England and forms part of a World Heritage Site....

 and then some 13,050 moved to Spitalfields
Spitalfields
Spitalfields is a former parish in the borough of Tower Hamlets, in the East End of London, near to Liverpool Street station and Brick Lane. The area straddles Commercial Street and is home to many markets, including the historic Old Spitalfields Market, founded in the 17th century, Sunday...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. Some moved on to Macclesfield
Macclesfield
Macclesfield is a market town within the unitary authority of Cheshire East, the county palatine of Chester, also known as the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. The population of the Macclesfield urban sub-area at the time of the 2001 census was 50,688...

. In both Spitalfields and Canterbury, French speaking communities were formed. In Spitalfields there was a cluster of 11 Huguenot churches. Their importance lay not in numbers but the important weaving skills that they introduced. These Calvinists were disciplined and skillful silk weavers. Their arrival challenged the English weavers, to whom they taught their techniques and their improved technology was transfered to the wool and cotton weavers.

Weaving in the American Colonies (1500-1800)


Colonial America
Colonial America
The colonial history of the United States covers the history from the start of European settlement and especially the history of the thirteen colonies of Britain until they declared independence in 1776. In the late 16th century, England, France, Spain and the Netherlands launched major...

 was heavily reliant on Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 for manufactured goods of all kinds. British policy was to encourage the production of raw materials in colonies. Weaving was not prohibited, but the export of British wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

 was.
As a result many people wove cloth from locally produced fibers . The colonists mostly used wool, cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 and flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

 (linen) for weaving, though hemp
Hemp
Hemp is mostly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol strains of the plant Cannabis sativa, of fiber and/or oilseed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel with modest...

 fiber could be made into serviceable canvas and heavy cloth also. They could get one cotton crop each fall, but until the invention of the cotton gin
Cotton gin
A cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds, a job formerly performed painstakingly by hand...

 it was a labor-intensive process to separate the seeds from the cotton fiber. It generally took an entire year to produce cloth from raw materials, including processing, spinning, weaving and finishing. Flax and hemp were harvested in the summer, and the stalks retted to obtain the long fibers within. Wool could be sheared
Sheep shearing
Sheep shearing, shearing or clipping is the process by which the woollen fleece of a sheep is cut off. The person who removes the sheep's wool is called a shearer. Typically each adult sheep is shorn once each year...

 up to twice yearly, depending on the breed of sheep. The relative ease of processing wool, and its durability, meant that a great proportion of weaving was wool cloth.

A plain weave was preferred in Colonial times, and the added skill and time required to make more complex weaves kept them from common use in the average household. Sometimes designs were woven into the fabric but most were added after weaving using wood block prints or embroidery. Later, the use of multi-harness looms enabled color or texture patterns to be directly woven into the fabric.

Industrial Revolution


Before the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, weaving was a manual craft and wool was the principal staple. In the great wool districts a form of factory system had been introduced but in the uplands weavers worked from home on a putting-out system. The wooden looms of that time might be broad or narrow; broad looms were those too wide for the weaver to pass the shuttle through the shed, so that the weaver needed an expensive assistant (often an apprentice). This ceased to be necessary after John Kay
John Kay (flying shuttle)
John Kay was the inventor of the flying shuttle, which was a key contribution to the Industrial Revolution. He is often confused with his namesake: fellow Lancastrian textile machinery inventor, the unrelated John Kay who built the first "spinning frame".-Life in England:John Kay was born...

 invented the flying shuttle
Flying shuttle
The flying shuttle was one of the key developments in weaving that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution. It was patented by John Kay in 1733. Only one weaver was needed to control its lever-driven motion. Before the shuttle, a single weaver could not weave a fabric wider than arms length. Beyond...

 in 1733. The shuttle and the picking stick speeded up the process of weaving.There was thus a shortage of thread or a surplus of weaving capacity. The opening of the Bridgewater Canal
Bridgewater Canal
The Bridgewater Canal connects Runcorn, Manchester and Leigh, in North West England. It was commissioned by Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, to transport coal from his mines in Worsley to Manchester...

 in June 1761 allowed cotton to brought into the Manchester, an area rich in fast flowing streams that could be used to power machinery. Spinning was the first to be mechanised (spinning jenny
Spinning jenny
The spinning jenny is a multi-spool spinning frame. It was invented c. 1764 by James Hargreaves in Stanhill, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire in England. The device reduced the amount of work needed to produce yarn, with a worker able to work eight or more spools at once. This grew to 120 as technology...

, spinning mule
Spinning mule
The spinning mule was a machine used to spin cotton and other fibres in the mills of Lancashire and elsewhere from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. Mules were worked in pairs by a minder, with the help of two boys: the little piecer and the big or side piecer...

), and this led to limitless thread for the weaver.

Edmund Cartwright
Edmund Cartwright
Edward Cartwright was an English clergyman and inventor of the power loom.- Life and work :...

 was the first to attempt to mechanise weaving from 1785. He built a factory at Doncaster
Doncaster
Doncaster is a town in South Yorkshire, England, and the principal settlement of the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster. The town is about from Sheffield and is popularly referred to as "Donny"...

 and obtained a series of patents between 1785 and 1792. In 1788, his brother Major John Cartwight
John Cartwright (political reformer)
John Cartwright was an English naval officer, Nottinghamshire militia major and prominent campaigner for parliamentary reform. He subsequently became known as the Father of Reform...

 built Revolution Mill at Retford
Retford
Retford is a market town in Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands of England, located 31 miles from the city of Nottingham, and 23 miles west of Lincoln, in the district of Bassetlaw. The town is situated in a valley with the River Idle and the Chesterfield Canal running through the centre of the...

 (named for the centenary of the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

). In 1791, he licensed his loom to the Grimshaw brothers of Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

, but their Knott Mill burnt down the following year (possibly a case of arson). Edmund Cartwight was granted a reward of £10,000 by Parliament for his efforts in 1809. However, success in power-weaving also required improvements by others, including H. Horrocks of Stockport
Stockport
Stockport is a town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on elevated ground southeast of Manchester city centre, at the point where the rivers Goyt and Tame join and create the River Mersey. Stockport is the largest settlement in the metropolitan borough of the same name...

. Only during the two decades after about 1805, did power-weaving
Power loom
A power loom is a mechanized loom powered by a line shaft. The first power loom was designed in 1784 by Edmund Cartwright and first built in 1785. It was refined over the next 47 years until a design by Kenworthy and Bullough, made the operation completely automatic. This was known as the...

 take hold. At that time there were 250,000 hand weavers in the UK. Textile manufacture was one of the leading sectors in the British
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, but weaving was a comparatively late sector to be mechanised. The loom became semi-automatic in 1842 with Kenworthy and Bulloughs Lancashire Loom
Lancashire Loom
The Lancashire Loom was a semi-automatic power loom invented by James Bullough and William Kenworthy in 1842. Although it is self-acting, it has to be stopped to recharge empty shuttles. It was the mainstay of the Lancashire cotton industry for a century....

. The various innovations took weaving from a home-based artisan
Artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

 activity (labour intensive and man-powered) to steam
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

 driven factories
Factory
A factory or manufacturing plant is an industrial building where laborers manufacture goods or supervise machines processing one product into another. Most modern factories have large warehouses or warehouse-like facilities that contain heavy equipment used for assembly line production...

 process. A large metal manufacturing industry grew to produce the looms, firms such as Howard & Bullough
Howard & Bullough
Howard & Bullough was a firm of textile machine manufacturers in Accrington, Lancashire. They were the world's major manufacturer of power looms in the 1860s.-History:...

 of Accrington
Accrington
Accrington is a town in Lancashire, within the borough of Hyndburn. It lies about east of Blackburn, west of Burnley, north of Manchester city centre and is situated on the mostly culverted River Hyndburn...

, and Tweedales and Smalley and Platt Brothers
Platt Brothers
Platt Brothers & Co Ltd, was a British company based at Oldham, in North West England. They were textile machinery manufacturers, iron founders and colliery proprietors, and by the end of the 19th century, had become the largest textile machinery company in the world, employing over 12,000 workers...

. Most power weaving took place in weaving sheds, in small towns
Mill town
A mill town, also known as factory town or mill village, is typically a settlement that developed around one or more mills or factories .- United Kingdom:...

 circling Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2.6 million. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the...

 away from the cotton spinning area. The earlier combination mills where spinning and weaving took place in adjacent buildings became rarer. Wool and worsted
Worsted
Worsted , is the name of a yarn, the cloth made from this yarn, and a yarn weight category. The name derives from the village of Worstead in the English county of Norfolk...

 weaving took place in West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county within the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England with a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972....

 and particular Bradford
Bradford
Bradford lies at the heart of the City of Bradford, a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, in Northern England. It is situated in the foothills of the Pennines, west of Leeds, and northwest of Wakefield. Bradford became a municipal borough in 1847, and received its charter as a city in 1897...

, here there were large factories such as Lister's or Drummond's, where all the processes took place. Both men and women with weaving skills emigrated, and took the knowledge to their new homes in New England, to places like Pawtucket
Pawtucket
Pawtucket may refer to:* Pawtucket, Rhode Island* Pawtucket Falls , Lowell, Massachusetts* Pawtucket tribe* 2 ships named USS Pawtucket* Pawtucket Brewery, fictional brewery on the television series Family Guy...

 and Lowell
Lowell, Massachusetts
Lowell is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA. According to the 2010 census, the city's population was 106,519. It is the fourth largest city in the state. Lowell and Cambridge are the county seats of Middlesex County...

.
The invention in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 of the Jacquard loom
Jacquard weaving
Jacquard weaving makes possible in almost any loom the programmed raising of each warp thread independently of the others. This brings much greater versatility to the weaving process, and offers the highest level of warp yarn control...

 in about 1803, enabled complicated patterned cloths to be woven, by using punched cards to determine which threads of coloured yarn should appear on the upper side of the cloth. The jacquard allowed individual control of each warp thread, row by row without repeating, so very complex patterns were suddenly feasible and sample exist showing calligraphy, and woven copies of engravings. Jacquards could be attached to handlooms or powerlooms.

The woven grey cloth was then sent to the finishers where it was bleached, dyed and printed. Natural dye
Natural dye
Natural dyes are dyes or colorants derived from plants, invertebrates, or minerals. The majority of natural dyes are vegetable dyes from plant sources – roots, berries, bark, leaves, and wood — and other organic sources such as fungi and lichens....

s were originally used, with synthetic dyes coming in in the second half of the nineteen century. The need for these chemicals was an important factor in the development of the chemical industry.

The role of the weaver


A distinction can be made between the role and lifestyle and status of a handloom weaver, and that of the powerloom weaver and craft weaver. The perceived threat of the power loom has led to disquiet and industrial unrest. Well known protests movements such as the Luddite
Luddite
The Luddites were a social movement of 19th-century English textile artisans who protested – often by destroying mechanised looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt were leaving them without work and changing their way of life...

s and the Chartist
Chartist
Chartist may refer to:*Chartist , a person who uses charts for technical analysis*Chartist , a British social democratic periodical*An adherent of Chartism, a 19th-century political and social reform movement in the UK...

s had hand loom weavers amongst their leaders. In the early 19th century power weaving became viable. Richard Guest in 1823 made a comparison of the productivity of power and hand loom weavers:
A very good Hand Weaver, a man twenty-five or thirty years of age,
will weave two pieces of nine-eighths shirting per week, each twenty-four yards
long, and containing one hundred and five shoots of weft in an inch, the reed of
the cloth being a forty-four, Bolton count, and the warp and weft forty hanks to
the pound, A Steam Loom Weaver, fifteen years of age, will in the same time
weave seven similar pieces.

He then speculates about the wider economics of using powerloom weavers:
...it mav very safely be said, that the work done in a Steam Factory containing two
hundred Looms, would, if done by hand Weavers, find employment and support
for a population of more than two thousand persons.

Hand loom weavers


Hand loom weavers were mainly men- due to the strength needed to batten. They worked from home sometimes in a well lit attic room. The women of the house would spin the thread they needed, and attend to finishing. Later women took to weaving, they obtained their thread from the spinning mill
Cotton mill
A cotton mill is a factory that houses spinning and weaving machinery. Typically built between 1775 and 1930, mills spun cotton which was an important product during the Industrial Revolution....

, and working as outworkers on a piecework contract. Over time competition from the power looms drove down the piece rate and they existed in increasing poverty.

Power loom weavers



Power loom workers were usually girls and young women. They had the security of fixed hours, and except in times of hardship such as in the cotton famine
Cotton famine
The Lancashire Cotton Famine, also known as The Cotton Famine or the Cotton Panic , was a depression in the textile industry of North West England, brought about by the interruption of baled cotton imports caused by the American Civil War. The boom years of 1859 and 1860 had produced more woven...

 regular income. They were paid a wage and a piece work bonus. Even when working in a combined mill, weavers stuck together and enjoyed a tight-knit community. The women usually minded the four machines and kept the looms oiled and clean. They were assisted by 'little tenters', children who on a fixed wage ran errands and did small tasks. They learnt the job of the weaver by watching. Often they would be half timers, carrying a green card which teacher and overlookers would sign to say they had turned up at the mill in the morning and in the afternoon at the school. At fourteen or so they come full time into the mill, and started by sharing looms with an experienced worker where it was important to learn quicky as they would both be on piece work . Serious problems with the loom were left to the tackler
Tackler
A tackler is a workman who repairs defective weaving looms in textile factories in the north of England.Distinguish from Takla Makan, a desert in Chinese Central Asia....

 to sort out. He would inevitably be a man, as were usually the overlookers. The mill had its health and safety issues, there was a reason why the women tied their hair back with scarves. Inhaling cotton dust caused lung problems, and the noise was total causing hearing loss. Weavers would mee-waw
Mee-mawing
Mee-mawing was a form of speech with exaggerated movements to allow lip reading employed by workers in weaving sheds in Lancashire in the nineteenth and twentieth century. The noise in a weaving shed renders hearing impossible so workers communicated by mee-mawing which was a cross between mime and...

 as normal conversation was impossible. Weavers used to 'kiss the shutttle' that is suck thread though the eye of the shuttle- this left a foul taste in the mouth due to the oil which was also carcinogenic.

Craft Weavers


Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts
Arts and crafts comprise a whole host of activities and hobbies that are related to making things with one's hands and skill. These can be sub-divided into handicrafts or "traditional crafts" and "the rest"...

 was an international design philosophy that originated in England and flourished between 1860 and 1910 (especially the second half of that period), continuing its influence until the 1930s. Instigated by the artist and writer William Morris
William Morris
William Morris 24 March 18343 October 1896 was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement...

 (1834–1896) during the 1860s and inspired by the writings of John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

 (1819–1900), it had its earliest and most complete development in the British Isles but spread to Europe and North America. It was largely a reaction against mechanisation and the philosophy advocated of traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often medieval, romantic or folk styles of decoration. Hand weaving was highly regard and taken up as a decorative art
Decorative art
The decorative arts is traditionally a term for the design and manufacture of functional objects. It includes interior design, but not usually architecture. The decorative arts are often categorized in opposition to the "fine arts", namely, painting, drawing, photography, and large-scale...

. Female students at the Bauhaus
Bauhaus
', commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term stood for "School of Building".The Bauhaus school was founded by...

 which adopted some of its philosophy, were directed to study in the Weaving Workshop
Bauhaus
', commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term stood for "School of Building".The Bauhaus school was founded by...

. The weaver was thus a student of art, and yet again predominantly female. With the growth of leisure in the late twentieth century, weaving became a popular pastime.

Andean civilizations



Whereas European cloth-making generally created ornamentation through "suprastructural" means -- by adding embroidery, ribbons, brocade, dyeing, and other elements onto the finished woven textile -- pre-Columbian Andean weavers created elaborate cloth by focusing on "structural" designs involving manipulation of the warp and weft of the fabric itself. Andeans used "tapestry techniques; double-, triple- and quadruple-cloth techniques; gauze weaves; warp-patterned weaves; discontinuous warp or scaffold weaves; and plain weaves" among many other techniques, in addition to the suprastructural techniques listed above.

American Southwest


.
Textile weaving, using cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 dyed with pigments, was a dominant craft among pre-contact tribes of the American southwest, including various Pueblo
Pueblo
Pueblo is a term used to describe modern communities of Native Americans in the Southwestern United States of America. The first Spanish explorers of the Southwest used this term to describe the communities housed in apartment-like structures built of stone, adobe mud, and other local material...

 peoples, the Zuni, and the Ute
Ute Tribe
The Ute are an American Indian people now living primarily in Utah and Colorado. There are three Ute tribal reservations: Uintah-Ouray in northeastern Utah ; Southern Ute in Colorado ; and Ute Mountain which primarily lies in Colorado, but extends to Utah and New Mexico . The name of the state of...

 tribes. The first Spaniards to visit the region wrote about seeing Navajo blankets
Navajo rug
Navajo rugs and blankets are textiles produced by Navajo people of the Four Corners area of the United States. Navajo textiles are highly regarded and have been sought after as trade items for over 150 years. Commercial production of handwoven blankets and rugs has been an important element of the...

. With the introduction of Navajo-Churro sheep
Navajo-Churro sheep
The Navajo-Churro, or Churro for short, is a breed of domestic sheep originating with the Spanish Churra sheep obtained by the Navajo Indian tribe. The breed is renowned for its hardiness and adaptability to extremes of climate. Its wool consists of a protective topcoat and soft undercoat...

, the resulting woolen products have become very well known. By the 18th century the Navajo had begun to import yarn with their favorite color, Bayeta red. Using an upright loom, the Navajos wove blankets worn as garments and then rugs after the 1880s for trade. Navajo traded for commercial wool, such as Germantown, imported from Pennsylvania. Under the influence of European-American settlers at trading posts, Navajos created new and distinct styles, including "Two Gray Hills" (predominantly black and white, with traditional patterns), "Teec Nos Pos" (colorful, with very extensive patterns), "Ganado" (founded by Don Lorenzo Hubbell
Don Lorenzo Hubbell
Don Lorenzo Hubbell was a 19th century trader instrumental in promoting the sale of Navajo art. He was also sheriff of Apache County, Arizona, a member of the Arizona Territorial Legislature, and after statehood a member of the Arizona Senate...

), red dominated patterns with black and white, "Crystal" (founded by J. B. Moore), Oriental and Persian
Persian rug
The Persian carpet is an essential part of Persian art and culture. Carpet-weaving is undoubtedly one of the most distinguished manifestations of Persian culture and art, and dates back to ancient Persia. In 2008, Iran’s exports of hand-woven carpets was $420 million or 30% of the world's market...

 styles (almost always with natural dyes), "Wide Ruins," "Chinlee," banded geometric patterns, "Klagetoh," diamond type patterns, "Red Mesa
Mesa
A mesa or table mountain is an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs. It takes its name from its characteristic table-top shape....

" and bold diamond patterns. Many of these patterns exhibit a fourfold symmetry, which is thought to embody traditional ideas about harmony, or hózhó.

Amazonia


In Native Amazonia, densely woven palm
Arecaceae
Arecaceae or Palmae , are a family of flowering plants, the only family in the monocot order Arecales. There are roughly 202 currently known genera with around 2600 species, most of which are restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates...

-bast mosquito netting, or tents, were utilized by the Panoans, Tupinambá, Western Tucano
Tucano
Tucano may refer to:* Tucano people, indigenous people of Brazil and Colombia* The Tucano language of Brazil and Colombia, part of the Tucanoan family of languages* Embraer EMB 312 Tucano, a Brazilian turboprop training aircraft...

, Yameo, Záparoans, and perhaps by the indigenous peoples of the central Huallaga
Huallaga
Huallaga may refer to:*Locations in Peru:**Huallaga Province**Huallaga River**Huallaga Valley...

 River basin (Steward 1963:520). Aguaje palm-bast (Mauritia flexuosa, Mauritia minor, or swamp palm) and the frond spears of the Chambira palm (Astrocaryum chambira
Astrocaryum chambira
Astrocaryum chambira is a palm native to Amazon Rainforest vegetation in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. This plant which has edible endosperm and fruit. It has a commercial value because it has excellent fibers which may be used for bags, hammocks, ropes, string instruments, and many...

, A.munbaca, A.tucuma, also known as Cumare or Tucum) have been used for centuries by the Urarina
Urarina
The Urarina are an indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon Basin who inhabit the Chambira, Urituyacu, and Corrientes Rivers. According to both archaeological and historical sources, they have resided in the Chambira Basin of contemporary northeastern Peru for centuries. The Urarina refer to...

 of the Peruvian Amazon
Amazon Basin
The Amazon Basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries that drains an area of about , or roughly 40 percent of South America. The basin is located in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela...

 to make cordage, net-bags hammocks, and to weave fabric
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

. Among the Urarina
Urarina
The Urarina are an indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon Basin who inhabit the Chambira, Urituyacu, and Corrientes Rivers. According to both archaeological and historical sources, they have resided in the Chambira Basin of contemporary northeastern Peru for centuries. The Urarina refer to...

, the production of woven palm-fiber goods is imbued with varying degrees of an aesthetic attitude, which draws its authentication from referencing the Urarina’s primordial past. Urarina mythology attests to the centrality of weaving and its role in engendering Urarina society. The post-diluvial creation myth accords women’s weaving knowledge a pivotal role in Urarina social reproduction. Even though palm-fiber cloth is regularly removed from circulation through mortuary rites, Urarina palm-fiber wealth is neither completely inalienable
InAlienable
InAlienable is a 2008 science fiction horror film written and produced by Walter Koenig, and directed by Robert Dyke.-Plot:Dr. Eric Norris remains wracked with guilt after a terrible tragedy that cost him his family, and when he learns that an alien parasite is not only growing inside him but...

, nor fungible since it is a fundamental medium for the expression of labor and exchange. The circulation of palm-fiber wealth stabilizes a host of social relationships, ranging from marriage and fictive kinship
Kinship
Kinship is a relationship between any entities that share a genealogical origin, through either biological, cultural, or historical descent. And descent groups, lineages, etc. are treated in their own subsections....

 (compadrazco, spiritual compeership) to perpetuating relationships with the deceased.

See also


  • Merchant capitalism
    Merchant capitalism
    Merchant capitalism is a term used by economic historians to refer to the earliest phase in the development of capitalism as an economic and social system. Early forms of merchant capitalism were developed in the medieval Islamic world from the 9th century, and in medieval Europe from the 12th...

  • Persian weave
    Persian weave
    Persian weave is a method of weave used in jewelry and other art forms. When used for making chains, the Persian weave makes a dense chain with a fascinating ring pattern. Persian weaves works best with relatively large rings....

  • Textile manufacturing terminology
    Textile manufacturing terminology
    -A:AbsorbencyAcetateAcrylicAida clothAlnageAlpacaAngoraAppliquéAramidArgyle-B:Backstrap loomBaizeBallistic nylonBatikBedford-CordBiasBinding...

  • Weaving (mythology)
    Weaving (mythology)
    The theme of weaving in mythology is ancient, and its lost mythic lore probably accompanied the early spread of this art. In traditional societies today, westward of Central Asia and the Iranian plateau, weaving is a mystery within woman's sphere...

  • Basket weaving
    Basket weaving
    Basket weaving is the process of weaving unspun vegetable fibres into a basket or other similar form. People and artists who weave baskets are called basketmakers and basket weavers.Basketry is made from a variety of fibrous or pliable materials•anything that will bend and form a shape...

  • Bhuiyar
    Bhuiyar
    The Bhuiyar or Bhuyiar are a Hindu caste found in North India, and those in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi have scheduled caste status. They are also known as Bhanyar Julaha; Kabirpanthi and Kori. The traditional occupation of Bhuiyar Caste is weaving...


External links