Weaving – Japanese weaving looms

June 19, 2009

I’ve yet to come across a definitive, comprehensive study in English of weaving looms in Japan. All I can do while waiting and looking is post pictures I’ve taken myself and information I’ve retrieved from scattered sources. I guess this will be a work-in-progress, but my initial aim is an 1000-word summary. So come back later for more info and photos!

1. Part the First. The Weaving Experience for tourists in Kyoto.

loom 1   loom 2

There are references elsewhere on the net to this location, including film clips of the hourly fashion shows on the ground floor, but here is a student loom available for domestic and overseas tourists to try, as part of short scheduled lessons under the watchful eye of a local weaver. Despite being a knock-down loom held together with nuts and bolts, it has foot pedals and is a tw0-shaft loom relflecting the fact that most traditional weaving in Japan, as in the rest of the world, is plain tabby weave.

loom 3

2. Part the Second. Jacquard looms at Nishijin Textile Centre, Kyoto

From one extreme of weaving to the other, Nishijin has several jacquard looms on its first floor public demonstration area devoted to weaving, textile and related crafts. These looms are identical to those in operation at the Orinasu factory not far away in this Nishijin Quarter, the traditional weaving quarter of Kyoto. I wasn’t able to take photos of the weavers at work in Orinasu, but more on this entity a bit later. I include here some rather blurred photos taken behind glass of model jacquard looms, on Level 3 of the Nishijin Centre. These looms would have been much larger obviously in real life.

3. Kasuri loom, Nishijin Textile Centre.

4. Orinasu, Kyoto: retail outlet, coffee shop, weaving factory, textile museum.

5. Traditional Arts & Crafts Museum, Kyoto.


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