Encyclopedia Article


This ancient, mechanical device, found throughout the world in almost every culture, enables the user to produce various textiles by enabling the interweaving of threads that are held in tension. Immobile bars form a frame, and a tool called the shuttle raises the warp, or vertical-running, threads while pulling the filling strand, or weft thread, horizontally back and forth and over and under the warp. Although they were automated during the industrial revolution of the early 17th century, looms retain the original, operational characteristics of their ancient cultural predecessors.

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"Navajo weaver with sheep" by William M. Pennington is licensed under Public Domain.

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