CNC Jacquard Loom Will Weave Anything


The Jacquard loom, invented in the early 1800s, used punched cards to manufacture relatively complex textiles such as damask and brocade. These punched cards were eventually used by census workers, mechanical calculators, early analog computers, the earliest digital computers, and even the humble Arduino.

That doesn’t mean the Jacquard loom was left in the 17th century, though. This one made it to the Open Hardware Summit in New York last week and it was so cool the organizers of the Maker Faire graciously found space for it.

The entire loom is controlled by computer – no punched cards required – and is build out of inexpensive aluminum extrusion. It can also make any two color graphic into a textile (yes, even the Hackaday logo). The loom wasn’t quite operational during the one day it spent at Maker Faire, but we’ve been promised updates in the future.

14 thoughts on “CNC Jacquard Loom Will Weave Anything

  1. I agree with fartface. Get a video camera, don’t just use your freebie camera-phone. Very interesting project, would watch the video if it didn’t give me seizures. I would love one of these; instant jerseys! Any team!

    1. Agreed. The seizure inducing blurring indicates that he’s applied some post-stabilisation processing. Imagine what it would look like without it – all over the shop.
      I dont get it, I paid £20 for one of those chinese 808 cams off Ebay. Not fantastic, but it blows this video out of the water!
      Cool loom, would like to see it in action.

    1. Player pianos(for an example) aren’t digital music, as digital music as digital is known as today. The phonograph most likely first dulled the appeal of player pianos long before radio broadcasting became commonplace. Looking at that it’s interesting to note to note how even then entertainment appliances that played recorded music became progressively smaller.

      1. A piano roll player is digital.

        Digital != electronic.

        For example, an analogue measurement is when you hold you arms apart and say “The fish was this big!”. Digital is when you say it was 354mm long.

        The difference comes when relaying the information, the digital measurement won’t get corrupted, while the analogue one will.

        100 years later the piano roll can still be played back exactly as it should, the analogue version “Well, GrandPappy said the tune went ‘dum dummm dum dumm…'” can’t.

        1. Not even close to what digital is. Digital is not defined by “electronic”. Digital is defined as based on a binary or “on””off” conditional state. Analog on the other hand is not based on discrete, binary states But rather Continuous states.

      1. Fair point, and none of the textile rewards said they were actually going to use the loom, so…

        Maybe it would be quicker if they just dug up Jacquard’s patent. I’ve got some punch cards I can send them.

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