Historical information

The Axminster Carpet Loom has been set up as a focal point in the centre of the National Wool Museum. The loom was originally built by Brintons in England around 1910 and was initially operating in Geelong in 1960. Brintons designed and built most of their own looms and ancillary equipment. When superseded in 1975 the loom was donated to the Melbourne College of Textiles for weaving training. The College has now donated the loom to the National Wool Museum and Brintons engineering staff has restored it to full working condition. This loom is known as an Axminster gripper loom. The gripper system was invented by Brintons in 1890 and operates using a gripper shaped like a birds beak. This grips the yarn, the yarn is then cut and the gripper swings down to place the tuft into the woven backing. This particular loom also uses a jacquard system for weaving colours. In jacquard weaving, punched cards are used to instruct the loom as to which colour to use. The system was invented by Joseph Jacquard, a silk weaver from Lyon, and was introduced in 1804. It revolutionised pattern weaving as it had the capacity to create intricate patterns through the use of the cards. By 1833 there were approximately 100,000 power-looms used in Great Britain that had been influenced by Jacquards invention. Joseph Jacquard died in 1834. Charles Babbage was later to adapt Jacquards punch-card system to produce a calculator that was the forerunner of todays methods of computer programming

Physical description

Axminster carpet loom featuring over 1000 Jacquard punch cards and over 100 bobbins of different colours of wool.