Kevin Carson forwarded me a message from Margarita Benitez, the mastermind behind osloom. Osloom is a DIY open source loom project. Briefly, the project goal is to develop blueprints and specifications for one to build their own loom. Specifically, a jacquard loom.
Jacquard is a process of weaving patterns with threads of various colors. The degree of design detail in loomed patterns is virtually limitless; one could even use photographs. Or I should say the only limitation now is cost; jacquard looms cost upwards of $60,000. However, were the instructions for such a loom made available (free) for folks to make their own, it could put fabric creation within the capacity of any designer who had the space to store and run a loom. One could create yardage to order, eliminating the need to make minimum yardage purchases in addition to creating the exact fabric patterns and in colors one desires. And if you’re not handy, I can only imagine you could find people to build it for you in the same way you can hire people to customize existing OS software (like WordPress). Here’s the blurb:
The OSLOOM project is about creating a hand loom that is computer controlled, creating a basic software where anyone can simply weave a photo thru a web browser (twill/satin), allow for the software import weave ready files from other software (such as Bhakti/Alice photoshop method), and then post the software on a repository for anyone to further develop or customize. In addition, all the loom blueprints would be placed online for anyone to build.
Of course there’s a catch. The project needs funding and they’re running up against a deadline to raise it by May 2nd. I wish I’d known about it sooner but I only found out about it from a second party. If you donate to the project, there are some premiums. You can find out more on the osloom site. There’s also a video which explains the project and concept in more detail.
Image courtesy: Wikipedia