Lea Albaugh


A simplified view of a jacquard loom.

Double-woven fabric containing a foam disc.

A rendering of the full loom.

A closeup of the bistable heddle mechanism.

Work with Scott E. Hudson, James McCann, and Lining Yao

We present an inexpensive tabletop loom that offers fully computational patterning while maintaining the flexibility of handweaving. Our loom can be assembled for under US $200 with 3D printed parts, and it can be controlled straightforwardly over USB. Our loom is explicitly a hand loom: that is, a weaver is required to operate the weaving process and may mediate row-by-row patterning and material specifics like yarn tension. This approach combines the flexibility of fully analog handweaving with the computational affordances of digital fabrication: it enables the incorporation of special techniques and materials, as well as allowing for the possibility of computational and creative interventions in the weaving process itself – for skill-building, for interactive design, or for creative reflection. We describe the mechanical and electronic implementation of our loom and show examples of its use for personal fabrication.

Published and presented at CHI 2021.