The History of the Weaving Floor Loom
Randy Nicholas has been writing professionally since 2002. He started by writing and editing technical and training manuals, developing educational curricula, and designing corporate policies, plans, and processes. His more creative work has been featured in "The Danforth Review," and "Inscribed: A Magazine for Writers." By Randy Nicholas, eHow Contributor
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Weaving is one of mankind's earliest inventions.
The ancient art of weaving fabrics and textiles has led to the invention of many devices and methods used across the world and throughout history. The long evolution of weaving has led to the development of today's most popular weaving machine: the weaving floor loom, operated by hand with a foot pedal that allows for uninterrupted weaving, or by a computer program that makes the chore of calculating thread count, patterns, and length and width ...view middle of the document...
There is confirmed evidence of weaving taking place in Egypt, China, Mesopotamia, Switzerland and Peru dating as far back as 5000 BC. Common fibers used were linen, wool and silk.
Weaving in China
o The mastery of the art of weaving silk is a great tradition in China. According to legend, an empress discovered by accident that the thread created by a certain worm could be used to weave exquisite cloths. Despite great interest from the rest of the world, the Chinese managed to keep the secrets of silk to themselves for over 3,000 years. The main advantage in the discovery of silk was that the thread could be woven without any spinning or treatment, which gave the Chinese weavers a considerable advantage in the marketplace.
Development of the Loom
o A loom is a framework that stretches threads to allow for easier and faster weaving. Though none have survived directly, the earliest looms were likely vertical structures, called warp weighted looms. The evidence of their existence comes from indirect sources, such as depictions in paintings and on pottery. From this, the horizontal ground loom and the pit loom were invented. These variations, while still primitive in construction, allowed weavers to be more comfortable while they carried out the tedious task of weaving. Later developments made looms easy to build and transport and incorporated devices that made the repetitive motions of weaving easier.
Foot-Treadle or Floor Loom
o The long history of weaving and the innovation of looms has ultimately led to the development of the floor loom. The floor loom uses a pulley and lever system and allows the weaver to continuously weave threads without interruption. For greater efficiency and flexibility in design and execution, weavers today have the option of using computers to guide the floor loom. Since weaving is, at its most basic, a mathematical exercise, computers are ideally suited for managing the increasing complexities of calculations required for more intricate and difficult designs.