Velvet Weaving (part five)

The Jacquard Mechanism, ConclusionVelvet 5 - 1

Photo #1 shows the Jacquard mechanism’s “knives”. When a needle goes through a hole in a card, it pushes its corresponding knife over onto the bar adjacent to it. Then the whole frame with all the bars and knives is lifted, thus raising only the knives that are hooked onto the bars. This happens when the weaver steps on a treadle (peddle). (In the photo it appears that the knives are all in position to be hooked on the bars, but they are not. It is the angle of the photo that is deceptive, I think.) [click photos to enlarge]
Velvet 5 - 2Velvet 5 - 3Photo #2 shows one of the knives. If you zoom in you can see the hook on one end. Photo #3 shows the threads of the pile selected by the Jacquard mechanism (often called a machine) and a wire being inserted.

Velvet 5 - 4
Photo #4 shows the middle part of the loom. There are two sections and each one has its own Jacquard machine. They called them the big machine  for the pile warps and the little machine for the foundation warps.

One section is made up of wooden frames and can be seen more clearly in the photo. There are 8 of them. The foundation warps are threaded in this section.

The second section is in front of it. You can see wooden bars with cords on them. There are 8 bars. This is the section where the pile warps are threaded. Look closely and you can see that this front section is lifting all the gold pile warps. In the next shed, (formed by the next card positioned in the Jacquard mechanism) just the selected pile warps from the Jacquard machine will be lifted and a wire will be inserted– seen in Photo #3. Remember, the weaver stepping on the treadle activates the Jacquard and moves the next card with its holes into place.
What is Velvet 5Photo #5 shows the big velvet piece seen in the first of the velvet posts. Since it is such a tall pattern (maybe 20 inches) many, many cards are needed because there are so many different rows in a single repeat. You can see how important the Jacquard invention was because once the cards are punched a design can be repeated over and over. In the drawloom days, each shed had to be made by the draw boy every time.

If you have any questions let me know and I’ll try to answer them in part six.

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