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Types of loom

Types of weaving loom

Fabric formation was done manually before the loom was invented, in this case, warp threads bound on the needle board or weft threads are passed manually between them according to the fabric types.

As the loom machine was found warp threads are fed through the warp beams and weft threads are passed by various mechnisms.

The first invention for weft passing is by shuttle.

The shuttle is the wooden or metallic portion of the loom that moves across the width of the fabric and contains a small amount of weft yarn that is released during its motion.

Later shuttleless looms are also invented.

  • The looms are mainly divided according to the two types.

1. Classification based on the shuttle - Shuttle loom and shuttleless loom.

2. Classification based on the shedding mechanism - Tappet, dobby, Jacquard, and E-shedding.

Basic loom machine

Shuttle loom

In the shuttle loom, the shuttle is used as a weft insertion tool.

The shuttle carries a pern of weft yarn and releases yarn from the pirn as it passes across the shed of the warp ends.

The shuttle loom is again categorized according to the features that the loom provides.

I.e. - Plain power loom, Manual loom or nonautomatic loom, semi-automatic loop, and fully automatic loom.

According to the number of shuttles, single-shuttle or multi-shuttle looms are also possible.

DSPAT Shuttle

DSPAT loom
Plain power loom

Shuttleless loom

In the shuttleless loom, other objects or mechanisms are used to pass the weft into the shed formation.

In the projectile, the rapier is the object that works instead of the shuttle while the air jet and water jet are fluid mechanisms that are used for fabric formation.

Rather than this, multiple-weft thread passing is also possible with another type of loom.

1. Projectile loom:

In this type of loom, standard steel projectiles are used for picking motion. The projectile has small Grippers for the grip of the weft pick.

In this loom, The picking and the projectile units are separated from the moving sley. In this loom, a specialized projectile rod in a projectile picking mechanism is used for passing the weft thread. The weft is drawn directly from a large stationary cross-wound package with or without an accumulator. 

The gripper projectile is picked across the warp shed at a very high speed, the picking energy being derived from the energy stored in the metal torsion bar which is twisted at a predetermined amount and released to give the projectile at a high rate of acceleration. Picking always takes place from one side but several projectiles are working on the conveyor chains underneath the warp shed.

2. Rapier loom:

In modern textile looms, Dornier Rigid Rapier is used for Technical Fabrics like Glass, Aramid, Carbon, and higher-width fabric varieties. The rapier loom is either single-sided or double-sided with various mechanisms available for pass rapier. Rapier is also flexible, rigid, or telescopic.

3. Air Jet loom:

Air-jet loom is a revolutionary system in loom machines. A jet of air is used to insert the pick in the picking mechanism. A filtered jet of air at very high pressure is used via various nozzles in this loom.

It is useful weaving technology for medium to coarse cotton and spun yarns. A leno selvedge with a fringe of about 1/8 inch or 0.33 cm length is produced during this jet weaving. 

Air-jet looms have higher RPM, therefore it gives more production as compared to other looms. In addition, it has better productivity, more control over parameters with the help of Microprocessor-based controls, and high efficiency.

Air-jet loom machines are generally helpful for the production of certain fabrics such as Denim, PV dress Materials, Polyester Dress Materials, and Cotton Shirting.

4. Water Jet loom:

Water jet looms are modifications of air-jet looms. It is widely used for economic and bulk production of Polyester Sarees and Dress Materials, Shirting, etc. In this loom, a jet of water can be used to insert the pick in the picking mechanism. For jet filtered water is used at very high pressure.

Water -jet loom is more suitable for medium to fine Denier Polyester yarns. (However,  Cotton and Viscose fibre yarn weaving were difficult to commercial acceptance.)

DSPAT Shuttleless loom
Shuttleless loom
5. Multiphase Weaving loom:

A multiphase weaving machine is one in which several phases of the weaving cycle take place at any instant such that several filling yarns can be inserted simultaneously. In this mechanism, more than one weaving shed is formed at a time and so picked and beat up. The Multiphase can weave 190 cm in width with 69 meters of fabric per hour. Application of these fabrics is in Geo Textiles and Awnings.

6. Multi-Axial Weaving Technology:

In recent years multi axial fabrics have begun to find favour in the construction of composite components. These fabrics consist of one or more layers of long fibres held in place by a secondary non-structural stitching thread. 

The main fibres can be any of the structural fibres available in any combination. The stitching thread is usually polyester due to its combination of appropriate fibre properties.

Classification according to the shedding mechanism

Tappet, dobby and jacquard

- In the olden days, limited types of woven designs were possible due to loom shedding limitations. 

There are 3 main shedding types. One is a tappet, the second is dobby and the third is jacquard.

- In tappet shedding, tappets with various cams are used for the formation of the shed in the loom. This is limited to up to 2 to 8 heald shafts only.

- For more than this, and weave slight complex designs in loom dobby shedding is used. In dobby shedding, multiple heald shafts are controlled by various dobby mechanisms and controlled by cards. 

- In further Development, jacquard looms have come. In jacquard, each warp end is individually controlled by separate mechanisms. Jacquard loom removes all kinds of limitations in woven designs.

- In modern days, e-shedding is also popular in which individual servo motors control each and every heald shaft.

- In dobby, jacquard looms now computerized data are inserted via modern screens and devices that allow a limitless variety of fabric even at high speed. This will increase production quality as well as quantity.

DSPAT Jacquard loom
Jacquard loom

Questions -
  1. Which are the different types of looms?
  2. What is a shuttle loom?
  3. What is a shuttle-less loom?
  4. Which looms are included in a shuttle-less loom?
  5. A detailed description of the shuttle-less loom.
  6. What are tappet, dobby, and jacquard shedding?


Diary, J. (n.d.). BASIC LOOM MECHANISM. from

Patwary, E. M. Z. (2012, June 23). What is the loom? Textile Fashion Study; Engr. Mohammad Zillane Patwary.

Safwan, A. A. (2016, November 19). Study on passage diagram of warp yarn through shuttle loom.

Sayed, A. (n.d.). Definition, classification and parts of the loom. from

Textile School. (2010, October 27). Types of fabric weaving loom. Textile School.

textile-tutorials. (2018, June 3). Parts of the loom and their functions in textile weaving. Textile Tutorials.

The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. (2013). loom. In Encyclopedia Britannica.

Understanding weaving: What are looms? (n.d.). The Sustainable Fashion Collective. from

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