Jacquard Looms

Jacquard Draw Loom

The Science Museum in London, England has some fascinating exhibits, jacquard looms, spinning equipment and other historical weaving & computer technology.

Jacquard Looms
Weaving patterns is an intricate task, but is also repetitive. Joseph Jacquard developed a system of punched cards, where the pattern was ‘programmed’ into the cardboard cards. These controlled the lifting of the sheds and created the patterning. This later led to the development of the modern day computer.

Jacquard Loom
Science Museum
London, England

Flying Shuttle Loom
Shuttles were stacked into a feeder mechanism and changed automatically

Flying Shuttle Loom

Handspinning Equipment

Dolly’s Sweater

Dolly Sweater


Dolly’s Sweater –

Sweater knit from Dolly the cloned sheep

Do you remember the great controversy a few years ago, when Dolly, a cloned sheep was engineered? A bio-engineered embryo had been implanted into a 6 year old ewe’s womb and Dolly developed as a clone. At 3 years of age, Dolly had much older DNA and it was expected that her life expectancy would be much shorter.The Cystic Fibrosis Trust held a competition to design a sweater using Dolly’s fleece. The fleece was cleaned, processed and spun at the School of Textile Industries in Leeds.

BBC – Dolly Fleeced for Fashion

Yuckles – Dolly the Cloned Sheep
Ok, a silly link here. Watch Dolly get cloned.

Time Magazine

The Cover from March 1997, Time Magazine of Dolly

Dolly
A Picture of Dolly.

Roslin Institute
Dolly’s home.

And now you can clone your pets!

If you are interested in the history of looms and computing technology, a visit to the Science Museum in London, UK is worth it. From Babbage’s Difference engine, atomic clocks, jacquard looms, Cray mainframes and other high-tech artifacts will take you back a step in time.

Cray mainframe computer

Cray Computer


In use until the early 1990’s,
Though not very clear in the photo – the blue in the centre is a huge mass of wires. Imagine when one of those shorts out!

Computers and Looms

Last Updated on May 3, 2021 by Paivi Suomi

By Paivi Suomi

I've had an interest in weaving, looms, yarns and textiles since I was a small child. I learned to knit, crochet, sew, do needlepoint at my mother's knee. My grandmother was a Saami from northern Norway. I am very interested in studying more about traditional Saami and Finnish style weaving and handicrafts. Paivi Suomi