We have all seen a loom , from the most modern that perhaps someone in our family still uses, to the old ones that are kept in museums and other spaces dedicated to this art, and yet most people do not know what it is like and how it was invented. Let’s go over those questions in depth.
If we talk about the origins of the looms, we can affirm that the first indications about their existence as we know it today, date back to Ancient Egypt, a civilization that used papyrus fiber, slowly spreading this technique to many nearby territories.
Little by little more sophisticated, looms were gaining place in different societies , and it is known that also in the American continent they were adopted many centuries ago, taking advantage of vicuña or llama wool, or cotton further north, to youth and adult coat.
One of the fundamental virtues of looms is precisely that, thanks to their incredible versatility, they adapt to any type of fabric. In what is now Brazil and other territories associated with the Amazon , people used the fibers of palm trees and other trees.
At that time, the looms were predominantly manual devices, and it was the Arabs who introduced the pedals, already in the 10th century, allowing the lower extremity to displace the warp, separating the threads that went below and above, thus facilitating the to knit.
During medieval times, in times when advances did not occur with the speed to which we are accustomed today, looms hardly changed their appearance and operation, while they became indispensable to combat the cold and distinguish social classes.
It was in 1589 when William Lee , a Scottish clergyman, developed what we could consider “the father of the modern loom”, although he barely had a prototype, and that model did not become popular until the arrival of the Industrial Revolution and its engines to steam.
From the middle of the 18th century, progress was already unchecked, in which accessories such as the flying shuttle, punch cards with their clothing patterns were invented to repeat them as many times as necessary, etc. And all this, with more and better fabrics.
To this day, the loom has been automated, gaining in power and ability to adapt to requirements , and it has also been helped by the appearance on the scene of new raw materials, which make it a key machine in the textile industry.