Traditional looms and weaving techniques are an important component of ancient science and technology in China. A wide range of textual and pictorial evidence, as well as archeological finds, attest to inventiveness of Chinese weavers and loom makers from ancient times, who have made a major contribution to world culture.
This is spooling tool. Reeled silk comes in the form of large hanks, and thus must be transferred onto small spools to make the job of preparing warp and weft threads easier.
Using a weft winder, turned the silk reel by hand, spooled of silk is wound onto bobbins, which will be placed in the shuttle to create the weft.
Consisting of warp beam, heddles, batten, heddle rods and cloth beam, these looms use the human body as a frame and as a support for the warp beam.
The use of a foot treadle in operating the heddle for alternating the sheds is the most distinctive feature of the reclining loom.
Another improvement seen on this loom is the way the warp beam is fixed to the frame, while the cloth beam is strapped around the back of the weaver.
Invented in China, the oblique treadle loom is equipped with treadles was widely used in the Han dynasty. It was a two-treadle single heddle plain weave loom that already employed the principle of tension compensation.
This type of loom long vanished in the course of history, has now been successfully reconstructed. It was the kind of loom that quite possibly reflected the true level of technology at that time.
Vertical treadle loom is closer to the Oblique Treadle Loom. Because of its warp perpendicular to the ground, it is also known as "vertical loom". Its image appeared in the Dunhuang grottoes of Five Dynasties period. This loom is reconstructed according in the description of "Zi Ren Yi Zhi" by Xue Jing Shi of Yuan Dynasty.
The polychromatic silk textiles of the Zhuang people in Guangxi are made on this type of loom.
The shedding and patterning mechanism is a round bamboo basket shaped like those use for transporting pigs to market.
The technique of weaving Hangzhou gauze can be traced back to the Yue Gauze, which originated in the Zhejiang area during the Tang dynasty. In the Qing dynasty, because of its fine texture and elegant appearance, it was highly praised by the imperial court and became well known was at home and abroad. Hangzhou Hanggauze, damask and satin are the three most important silk fabrics in southeast China.
The damask produced in Shuanglin, Huzhou, is famous for its softness and luster. As early as the Tang dynasty it was presented to the imperial court as a form of tribute. It is woven on a draw loom using locally produced Jili silk.
Zhang velvet was popular in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Most Zhang velvet lacks a woven ground, comes in one or two colors, and is sometimes embellished with gold or silver thread.
Hook-shaft pattern loom is excavated in the Laoguanshan Han dynasty tomb, Chengdu, Sichuan Province in 2012. At the bottom of one wooden coffin, they discovered four model looms made of wood and bamboo. To date these are the only complete models of Han dynasty looms with a confirmed provenance.
The lesser draw loom, also known as the harnessed loom, has a straight frame with an upright platform for harnesses in the middle section.
To store the patterning information of a large pattern unit, drawstrings controlling as many as 100,000 sequential wefts are arranged in circles that are hung at the back of the loom. Looms with multiple harnesses can produce fabrics with massive patterns, such as entire dragon robes.
China National Silk Museum