Silk throwing machine

Atelier de Jacques Vaucanson1753/1782

Musée des arts et métiers

Musée des arts et métiers

Silk throwing is a necessary step prior to weaving the fabric. In order to do that, several strands had to be smoothly twisted together, first to the right, then to the left, to produce organzine. In the mid-18th century, Piedmontese mills were still used for this operation. When Jacques Vaucanson studied ways of perfecting French silk production, he took a special interest in silk throwing mills, which he improved by introducing a chain with metal links. Now strands of silk could be twisted in a continuous and regular manner. The machine in the museum, which came from Vaucanson's workshop, is a rare, precious example of the engineer's efforts to improve the regulation of a device driven by a continuous movement.

Show lessRead more


  • Title: Silk throwing machine
  • Creator: Atelier de Jacques Vaucanson
  • Date: Circa 1753
  • Date Created: 1753/1782
  • Location: France
  • Physical Dimensions: Scale model
  • Provenance: Musée des arts et métiers
  • Subject Keywords: Textile / Organsin
  • Type: Bois, cuivre, acier
  • Contributor: Author: Lionel Dufaux
  • Credits: © Musée des arts et métiers-Cnam/photo Michèle Favareille