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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:53 pm
by lizorna
I think I’d go for knitting rather than weaving, because it would probably be a quicker and simpler way of producing warm clothing, and I know it’s within my capacity, because I’ve already done it on a small scale.

Sheep wool would be my fibre of choice because it’s warm and easy to spin. I’d pick up the bits of fleece lying around or caught on hedges, because even if I could catch a sheep and wrestle it to the ground I couldn’t shear it. I’d get as much grease and dirt as possible off the wool by washing and beating on a stone, and when it was dry, I’d pull it over a thorny stick to straighten out the fibres. Then I’d make a drop spindle from a straight stick with a weight at one end. I’d pull out a first bit of the wool fibre and wind it onto the spindle, and then drop the spindle so that the weight made it spin round, twist the fibres into a thread, and wind the thread onto the stick.

If I hadn’t had the forethought to salvage some knitting and sewing needles before heading for the countryside, I’d have to make knitting needles from a couple of straight sticks, made as smooth as possible by rubbing with a rough stone. The diameter would have to be enough to stop them bending, but not so thick as to produce over-large stitches, and they’d have to be long enough to hold enough stitches for the garment I wanted to make. I wouldn’t try making socks, because it involves fancy stuff with four needles and turning the heel, which I’ve forgotten how to do. Instead I’d rely on making rectangular pieces of fabric that could be sewn together. If I hadn’t salvaged steel darning needles, the needle would have to be a sliver of hard wood, with a hole pierced in it — a tougher job than the knitting needles.

Re: Knitting

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:23 pm
by phred
Instead of knitting socks, you could knit a square and fold them into blanket socks

Re: Knitting: 3D Printed Fabric / 3D Sewing

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:56 pm
by tahanson43206
The thread started by lizorna on 2014/03/18, and continued by phred with his interesting observation inspired this thought ...

Given existing 3D printer technology, which includes models available for home purchase and operation, we see a successful implementation of a single threaded extruded plastic "thread" concept.

A few 3D printers offer multiple heads, so that (for example) multiple colors can be merged in a model.

An interesting, and potentially marketable variation would be a 3D printer able to produce a "thread" AND able to weave the "thread" into a structure, such as (for example) a sock.

Is it necessary for a recovering civilization to relearn the art and practice of growing plants (and animals such as caterpillars) to produce thread, not to mention looms?

What would be a better solution for creation of fabric clothing for a community on the Moon or Mars?


Re: Knitting: Silk - tradition vs 3D Printing

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:32 pm
by tahanson43206
First ... for those who share my interest in statistics ...

I have found four search engines online as "registered" members: Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu

This implies that the count of views (may) be increased by visits by robots rather than humans. There are more than these four search engines.

To the topic at hand ... Considering silk (cloth) to be an example of high quality weaving that is still done largely by hand, I visited several Internet sites to try to get a sense of the history and present state-of-the-art of growing larvae, harvesting their cocoon wrappings, preparing the thread for use, and weaving, I concluded that this is a good example of a "technology" that would be challenging to implement on Mars or the Moon.

It would be challenging for a person not raised in the culture where silk manufacture is well established to create a new enterprise from scratch.

The still nascent "culture" of 3D Printing is far from capable of weaving silk (or anything else), but it IS possible to imagine what a 3D Printer loom might look like, and how it might operate.

In place of the bobbins of thread that feed a traditional loom today, the 3D printer heads would produce thread of the desired color as needed for the desired pattern.

While there might be only one print head for the crossing threads, there would need to be as many print heads for the longitudinal runs as there are bobbins for a traditional loom.

An industry can be imagined around implementation of this concept.

A refinement (and step above existing cloth manufacture in 2015) would be to design the system to adapt the configuration of the woven material to the actual characteristics of the person for whom the product is intended.


Re: Knitting

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:39 pm
by Maurice Goldsmith
Hi th

The weaving side of silk is well represented by a museum in Macclesfield near me. It's a good example of a technology that is all but lost, being preserved in a museum, but the practical side of the process is dying out as the looms are being scrapped and those who knew how to operate them age.

In the spirit of "The Knowledge" I visited this mill earlier in the summer and took as many photos as I could - I will upload them to my website when I have time so that they are available to anyone who is interested. The real challenge for anyone trying to reproduce the technology is weaving in the patterns, for which purpose a Jaquard mechanism was used, which raises and lowers the heddles carrying different coloured threads based on a system of punched cards.


Re: Knitting

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:03 am
by Maurice Goldsmith
As promised in my last reply I've now uploaded images relating to cotton and silk weaving on my website:

Quarry Bank Mill (cotton)
Paradise Mill (silk)
Macclesfield Silk Museum


Re: Knitting

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:38 pm
by Billy
Maurice and Doc,

I once mentioned that I have working drawings/blueprints for an early American loom from the Smithsonian.

I know I have them... somewhere. Doc wanted to obtain a copy of them, and I had no issues with having them reproduced - since they date from the 1980's, I don't think the Smithsonian would mind the copyright violation for academic purposes.

I promised Doc a copy of them, and then promptly fell off the radar.

I have to apologize to Doc, and the greater board, for that. Not offering any excuses, but there were several issues - including a flooded basement and the subsequent mold invasion - that had to be addressed. By the time it was all done and over with, I had forgotten about those blueprints.

I have literally torn this house apart looking for them. I know I have them... it's just a matter of locating them. And I always make good on my promises - keeping my word is sort of a bedrock foundation kind of thing...

When I locate them (there are only so many places in this house that manilla envelope can hide), I will extend to Doc his copy free of charge, as well as anyone else who wishes a copy (as penance for my falling off the radar and delaying so long)...

Just had to put that out there... it's been eating at me for some time.


Re: Knitting

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:31 pm
by Maurice Goldsmith
If you find them I'd be interested in having a scan of them. I've certainly gained a huge respect for the textile industry from my forays into these local mills. Those machines are so amazing, and complex, reproducing them just from my photos would be a real challenge and good engineering drawings would make it a lot easier.


Re: Knitting: Status of Smithsonian Inquiry re prints

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:11 pm
by tahanson43206
For those interested in blueprints of early looms, as described in earlier posts in this topic, here is an update from the Smithsonian Institution:
Begin Quotation:
Office of Visitor Services - Request for Information (imailagent)
To Today at 11:32 AM

Thank you for contacting the Smithsonian , where you can explore, discover, and create every day.

I have forwarded your e-mail to the National Museum of American History for review and response. You can also contact the Division of Home and Community Life directly by calling (202) 633-3794.

Please let us know if you have any questions.


Ami Temarantz
Office of Visitor Services

End Quotation.

If someone decides to try calling, please let us know what happened.


Re: Knitting

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:46 am
by Billy
Will call Monday morning... doubt anybody will be there on a Sunday.

I'll let you know what I found out...