The Open Source Loom Project
Jacquard looms are absolutely amazing pieces of weaving technology. Unfortunately, these fabulous looms come at a hefty price—usually somewhere around $30,000—making them off limits to all but the wealthiest of hobby weavers, professional weavers and studios, and educational institutions.
Fortunately this is changing thanks to Margarita Benitez, a fiber artist and professor at Kent State. In 2010 she founded the OSLOOM (short for Open Source Loom) project. Her goal was to design a DIY computer-controlled loom and then release all the instructions and software to the public under open licenses.
For the past two years the brains behind OSLOOM have been hard at work building prototypes. Recently, they updated their website to announce some exciting new developments and post some videos of what they have so far. Their goal is to have the documentation for their first prototype online by the end of the year and then start working on a larger version. We can't wait to see what tech-savvy weavers out there will do once they can build their very own Jacquard looms.