Textile Technology

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Jan 042009
 

As part of my talk for 25c3, I spent some time talking about weaving looms. Looms are a lot like giant physical graphics processors. They’re also considered to be the first machines to really make use of punch cards.

At the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin they have a ton of old industrial textile equipment, including a beautiful Jacquard loom. And next to it, a fantastic model which shows you just how a Jacquard head works. It was so great I had to snap a video.

You can see photos and video of the loom itself over on my blog, Kellbot!

More awesome textile tech was a punchtape driven embroidery machine which was completely mechanical. I couldn’t find much information about it, so if anyone knows about these machines let me know!

Punchtape embroidery machine

Of course there’s a ton of other stuff at the Tech museum… planes, trains, automobiles, math… we spent about 5 hours there and still didn’t see all of it. If you’re in Berlin you should set aside half a day to go see it.

  • http://davemakes.com Dave Jacob Hoffman

    Reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano. If they ever make a movie of it, I hope the machines look like the picture you’ve taken above.

  • Adam

    We are building this on Wednesday.

  • Dorit

    “player piano” was nearly the same think I thought of – however, I know several people who repair mechanical music instruments (not just pianos), so that’s a slightly different thing – even more exciting.

    The one dozen rows of holes in the picture are nice, but could you imagine a machine running paper rolls with several dozens of rows? Like 60 or 100 … There’s whole orchestras emulated by pianos, pipes/organs, percussion etc. all from times before records had been invented.

    Really great, so if you come across mechanical music instruments – don’t miss to hear and see them work.

  • Chris
  • http://prozacgod.blogspot.com David Hagler

    I recently read an article about huge textile looms, not the smaller embroidery ones, but it was kinda interesting, those reels of design information was the first form of “software piracy” people would copy them in any way imaginable to steal the design of another company.

    oh where was the DMCA in 1792 :P