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New loom promises make-at-home textiles

November 8th, 2017 / By: / Out There

“Doti” desktop loom may add scale to cottage industry weaving.

The Dot-Matrix Fabric Printer, nicknamed “Doti,” is an open-source, desktop jacquard loom designed for textile production at home. Pamela Liou is developing Doti as a project resident at Eyebeam, a nonprofit studio for collaborative experiments with technology located in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Doti loom is meant to provide scale and scope to cottage industry weavers of high-quality textiles. Users drag and drop an image that is then parsed into a woven pattern. An array of motors lifts and lowers threads while the weaver passes a shuttle across the shed of the loom, generating complex fabric patterns. Each warp, the vertical thread, is attached to an actuator that lowers or lifts. Because each thread has a separate motor, users can address each warp individually. The weaver is able to change the state of each thread “on the fly.” The complexity of the design is limited only by the number of motors with which the machine is equipped.

Liou, a computational designer and writer, says that unlike commercially available looms, the Doti loom can weave any pattern, unencumbered by pre-threaded harnesses, and patterns can be shared over a network of looms. By networking multiple machines, Doti may provide the foundation for a robust supply chain of independent small-batch textile producers.

The project began at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication Program as Liou’s thesis.