Deutsch: Webstuhl / Español: telar / Português: tear / Français: métier à tisser / Italiano: telaio

A loom is a device used to weave cloth and tapestry. The basic purpose of a loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads. It is a fundamental tool in the textile industry, enabling the mass production of fabrics.


In the industrial context, a loom is an essential machine in the textile industry, used for weaving fabrics. The loom holds the warp threads taut while the weft threads are woven through them, creating a fabric. Looms have been used for centuries and have evolved significantly from manual hand-operated devices to highly automated, computer-controlled machines.

The invention of the power loom during the Industrial Revolution marked a significant advancement in textile manufacturing. This mechanized loom increased production speed and efficiency, contributing to the growth of the textile industry. Modern looms can be highly sophisticated, incorporating advanced technologies such as electronic controls, automatic threading, and pattern programming.

Looms are categorized based on their method of operation and the type of fabric they produce. There are several types of looms, including:

  1. Handloom: Manually operated, suitable for small-scale or artisanal weaving.
  2. Power Loom: Mechanized loom powered by electricity, used for large-scale production.
  3. Jacquard Loom: Features a mechanism that controls individual warp threads, allowing for complex patterns.
  4. Rapier Loom: Uses a rapier device to carry the weft yarn through the shed, known for its versatility and speed.
  5. Air Jet Loom: Uses air jets to propel the weft yarn through the shed, ideal for lightweight fabrics.

Special Considerations

Modern looms require skilled operators who can manage and maintain these complex machines. Training and continuous learning are essential for operators to keep up with technological advancements and maintain production efficiency. Additionally, looms must adhere to safety standards to prevent accidents and ensure a safe working environment.

Application Areas

  1. Textile Manufacturing: Primary use of looms to produce various types of fabrics.
  2. Home Textiles: Production of items like curtains, upholstery, and bed linens.
  3. Apparel Industry: Weaving fabrics used in clothing and fashion.
  4. Technical Textiles: Creating specialized fabrics for industrial applications such as conveyor belts and filtration materials.
  5. Artisanal Crafting: Handlooms are used in crafting unique, custom-made textiles and tapestries.

Well-Known Examples

  1. Jacquard Loom: Invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1804, revolutionized pattern weaving.
  2. Shuttle Loom: Traditional type of loom still used in some parts of the world for specific fabric types.
  3. Air Jet Loom: Used by companies like Toyota Industries for high-speed fabric production.
  4. Rapier Loom: Employed by manufacturers like Picanol for versatile and efficient weaving.

Treatment and Risks

Risks associated with loom operation include mechanical failures, accidents due to moving parts, and repetitive strain injuries. Mitigation measures include regular maintenance, adherence to safety protocols, and ergonomic work practices to protect operators. Automation and advanced safety features in modern looms also help reduce these risks.

Similar Terms

  • Weaving Machine: A general term for any device used to weave fabric.
  • Textile Machine: Broader term encompassing various machines used in textile production.
  • Knitting Machine: A device used to create fabric by interlocking loops of yarn.
  • Spinning Wheel: A machine used to spin fibers into yarn or thread before weaving.


In the industrial context, a loom is a crucial machine used for weaving fabrics in the textile industry. It has evolved from manual devices to highly automated machines, significantly enhancing production efficiency and capability. Looms are essential for producing a wide range of textiles, from everyday clothing to specialized industrial fabrics. They play a vital role in the textile manufacturing process, requiring skilled operators and adherence to safety standards.


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