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Weaving Lab

The Springs Weaving Laboratory is designed for applied research. The lab is equipped with both sample warpers and an indirect warper, as well as single end sizing for pre-weaving processes. Weaving capability includes rapier, projectile, airjet, waterjet and shuttle looms with cam, dobby and jacquard shedding systems. Along with full width looms, the weaving lab also has two CCI sample looms for small scale research.

Frequently Asked Questions…

Rapier is a form of weft insertion in which one or two rapiers carry the filling yarn across the loom. As one of the rapiers brings the yarn across the loom from the left, known as the ‘giver’, the other comes from the right, the ‘taker’, and meets the giver halfway. The taker picks up the yarn and takes it the rest of the way across the loom. Compared to other weaving processes, the rapier method is fairly fast and very versatile.

Projectile weaving uses a bullet-like object for weft insertion called a projectile. The projectile is shot across the loom, carrying the filling yarn. Projectile weaving is comparatively slower than other forms of weaving.

Air jet weaving is a very efficient weaving technique in which a blast of air expels the weft yarn across the loom at very high speeds.

Water jet weaving is similar to air jet weaving. It is also a very efficient weaving technique, but instead of air it uses a stream of water to get the weft yarn across the loom at very high speeds.

Shedding is a process in which the warp yarns are separated into two sections by harnesses or harness cords. The opening between the separated warp yarns is called a “shed”, with part of the warp on the top of the shed, and the other part on the bottom of the shed. The shed opening is where the filling or the ‘weft’ yarn is inserted. The shedding process is what helps to develop the weave design in the fabric.

Cam shedding controls harnesses with a metal circular device, called a cam, that is shaped in different ways to create different designs. As the cam rotates, the high spots on the cam lift the harness, and the low spots lower the harness. One cam controls one harness. Cam is the simplest form of design within weaving.

Dobby shedding using a series of levers and jacks to raise and lower harnesses, almost like an arm lifting a weight. Dobby shedding can create intermediate design repeat sizes while also carrying smaller motifs throughout the fabric, and can create more complicated designs than cam shedding.

Jacquard shedding is used to create the most complex weaving designs. Instead of using harnesses, the Jacquard instead uses harness cords. These harness cords individually lift up the warp yarns to create the shed. This unlimited control means that multiple weave structures may be simultaneously used. The immense control of the jacquard machine allows for intricate details of very large design repeat dimensions to be woven into a fabric. Jacquard fabrics, such as brocade and tapestry, are very expensive to produce.