OSLOOM: An Open Source Jacquard Loom

Staff Writer | Open Source Textiles | July 3, 2012

The OSLOOM project has been working for two years to build an open source Jacquard loom. It is one of the first open source textiles projects to receive some funding via Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a website which enables you to solicit donations for a project with a particular stated outcome, and only takes those donations if the amount of money promised reaches your goal. This allows projects to attempt to reach their funding goal from lots of small pledges from individual donors, which is why the general process is called “crowd-funding”.

After raising approximately $10,000, the OSLOOM project has worked away on their project, often with periods of seeming inactivity, but this year seems to have been a busy time for them, and we’re starting to see some results that look like the beginnings of a loom.
Before we dive into that, however, I imagine some people might be asking, “what exactly is a Jacquard loom”? Names after it’s creator, the Jacquard loom is a programmable loom, which originally used punch cards which specified the pattern of which threads were raised or lowed for each row of the cloth. What differentiates a Jacquard loom from a dobby loom, however, is that the Jacquard loom has individual thread control...