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Sept/Oct 2005

Where You Can Use a Jacquard Loom

Artmaking with a Jacquard Loom

One tool fiber artists three decades ago did not have access to is the Jacquard loom, which automates the process of lifting desired warp threads between each pass of the weft shuttle. In our September/October 2005 issue, Bethanne Knudson focuses on how artists are taking advantage of access to the power and flexibility of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). In a few settings, artists are able to watch their one-of-a-kind works materialize on industrial looms that normally are used for mass-produced weavings. Some of these artists--many longtime handweavers--speak of the avenues of possibility these new tools have opened up.

Bethanne Knudson, Oxford Street, 2003; cotton; Jacquard woven on an industrial loom; 33" x 62". Knudson is interested in the realm of the subconscious, in things that exist in the imagination: stories, other worlds. This piece is based on a drawing she did after walking for hours on a crowded sidewalk in London with faces of strangers flashing in front of her and disappearing. Photo: Sage Crum.

Knudson has compiled this list of places that offer public access to Jacquard looms outside of a degree program. To make additions, e-mail information to assistant editor Liz Good at

Hand Jacquard looms
On these looms, the weft is usually passed manually by the artist-weaver, so it is still considered handweaving.

Eastern Michigan University, Art Department, Ypsilanti, MI 48197.
Contact for course information; for registration information.
Information about the university’s Jacquard Certificate Program and currently scheduled offerings is available on the website. Two-day introductory workshops are generally offered in fall and winter, nine-day intensive workshops during the summer.

Fondazione Arte della Seta Lisio, Via Benedetto Fortuni 143, 50125 Florence, Italy. Telephone 055-680-1340; fax 055-680-436;

Kawashima Textile School, 418 Ichihara-cho, Shizuichi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 601-11, Japan. Telephone 075-741-3151; fax 075-741-2107.

Kent State University, School of Art, PO Box 5190, Kent, OH 44242. Contact: Janice Lessman-Moss, (330) 672-2158 or

The Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles, 1751, rue Richardson, #5530, Montreal Quebec H3K 1G6, Canada. Telephone (514) 933-3728; fax (514) 933-6305;;

Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) University, 5163 Duke St., Halifax, NS B3J 3J6, Canada.
Offers credit courses, non-credit summer workshops, and a summer open studio in jacquard weaving.

Digital Jacq-ART, 2909 Dohr St., Berkeley, CA 94702. Telephone and fax (510) 848-5572;;
Owner Nina Jacobs offers private workshops geared towards textile artists, beginners to advanced weavers; loom rental; commissions.

Industrial Jacquard Looms
On these looms, the entire weaving process is automated, but the artist has programmed which warp thread will be lifted and which weft thread will be passed.

Nederlands Textielmuseum, Goirkestraat 96, 5046 GN Tilburg, the Netherlands. Telephone 013 549 45 16; fax 013-5494516;;
The museum has one industrial Jacquard loom; the loom and a CAD technician are available to artists.

The Jacquard Center, PO Box 1871, Hendersonville, NC 28739. Telephone (828) 693-4954; fax (828) 697-9140;;
At the center, which is owned by Bethanne Knudson, each student has their own CAD system and twenty-four-hour access to the CAD lab. Mill-access classes include access to sixteen industrial Jacquard power looms, three of which have more than 10,000 hooks and four of which have more than 5,000 hooks. More than a dozen warp color combinations are possible. All looms run in excess of 300 weft insertions per minute.


This article first appeared online in:

September/October 2005


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