This loom is powered by electricity, but it works much the same way as the machines Eliza Paige would have tended. It works so quickly and has so many moving parts that it is difficult to understand just how it works. If you watch this slow motion video, you will see how four "harnesses" lift hundreds of long "warp," (the threads that run lengthwise, while others stay in place. This creates what's called a "shed," an opening in which the "weft" (the horizontal threads)and the shuttle shoot through. Then another set of threads are lifted and the shuttle flies back in the opposite direction.
You can see how odd shaped gears at the bottom of the loom move so as to lift the harnesses and threads. Another view shows you how an arm sends the shuttle flying back and forth at 30-40 miles an hour. You can see the loom operator throw a lever to turn the machine off and on while he repairs a thread.
|The new girl
|Loom (contains 820 kb video)