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The weaving process
A brief history. It is believed that the Babylonians wove fabrics on primitive hand looms as early as 3000 BCE. The oldest three-dimensional method of making carpets, one that is still used today, is knotting. It is no longer possible to reconstruct exactly when people first began making carpets in the orient. In the 8th century CE, the Moors brought the first oriental carpets to Europe with their expansion into Spain. Knotted oriental carpets were introduced to Germany around the time of the Crusades. As oriental carpets became ever more popular in Europe, King Henry IV of France authorized the first carpet factory in the 17th century.
The first factory-made hand-woven carpets were produced in France, Belgium and England in the 18th century. The most famous carpet types of this era are Tournay, Brussels and Wilton carpets, named after the cities where they were developed. Once the English clergyman Dr. Edmund Cartwright invented the mechanical loom in 1786 (but not yet for carpets) and the Frenchman Joseph-Marie Jacquard invented the machine that bears his name in 1805, it was only a matter of time – until 1822, to be exact – until mechanical looms for heavy fabrics were invented, by the Englishman R. Roberts.
The first mechanical carpet loom was presented to the world at the 1851 London Exhibition by E. Bigelow of Boston. In Germany, a carpet industry developed around the middle of the 19th century in response to the rising demand. (ABB.) Power pile wire loom.
Pile wire weaving process
In weaving, two thread systems are crossed at right angles. The lengthwise threads are called the “warp”, and the crosswise threads are called the “weft”. When weaving pile carpets, the pile height is recognized as an additional third dimension.
Thus, three warps are required:
As the threads that make up the pile can only be raised a lowered as one by the shaft, the pile wire weaving process can only produce single-colour material or material that is striped along the direction of the warp. After passing through the heald grommets, the threads of the three warps are passed through a weaving reed (harness). The weaving reed consists of flat steel bars, and the distance between these determines the “warp line” of the material. One pile warp thread, two binding warp threads and one ground warp thread run through each gap between two reed bars.
The weaving cycle
In weaving, the shafts are raised and lowered to form the pile and binding sheds. A steel pile wire is automatically inserted in the pile shed. The height and thickness of this pile wire determines both the height of the pile and the size of the nap. The reed pushes the pile wire lying on the base and binding threads forward. The pile threads are lowered onto the steel wire, enmeshing it in the weave. Additionally, the shuttle transports the weft threads into the binder shed. Once a set of pile wires (around 20) is firmly woven in the fabric, the first pile wire is withdrawn and inserted in the next pile shed via a transfer mechanism. In the manufacture of velour weaves, replaceable blades are mounted on the heads of the pile wires. When the pile wires are withdrawn from the weave, the loops are cut, creating the distinctive velour look and feel.
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