Digital Jacquard Loom TC2

Digitization in the restructured workshop area
In the Department of Textile Design at the University of Osnabrück, after extensive restructuring of the workshop area, the increased integration of digital technology is taking place in research and teaching. The equipment is reassembled, weighted and oriented towards the future in the tension between analog and digital technology. This includes the commissioning of a digital Jacquard loom, TC2 for short, by Lucia Schwalenberg. The basic concept is to create and expand a textile research laboratory for students and teachers with future-proof equipment. The result is a coherent combination of historically grown technical equipment from a punch card jacquard with a card punching machine as an analog prototype of digitization to the latest development of digital weaving technology. The leap into the 21st century in the textile sector.

The new equipment in the workshop area of textile design offers cooperation and promotion opportunities in the MINT area (mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, technology) to strengthen technical competencies in a subject with a high proportion of women and at the same time the goal of also addressing male students. The analog and digital workshop equipment enables new starting points for future research projects in the interdisciplinary context of the University of Osnabrück and beyond.

The use of digital technology is fundamentally changing the possibilities for work in the textile sector. Work steps that are labor-, time- and cost-intensive in archaic and industrial techniques become operational and affordable with digital technologies. After industrialization and globalization comes digitization.

In the textile sector, this applies exemplarily to the complex field of jacquard weaving. On the jacquard loom, it is possible to control all threads individually and not in predefined thread groups as on the dobby loom. This makes complex patterns, weaves and pictorial representations possible. In the case of the historical Jacquard loom, this is done as an analogue archetype of digitization with punched card runs based on the predecessors of the draw, Zamperl or Damask looms. The punched card jacquards, which were pioneered in the 19th century, have been replaced industrially by computer-controlled machines in several innovation phases.

The TC2 digital hand jacquard loom is an innovative development from Norway. TC2 stands for Thread Controller 2 as a successor to the prototype TC1. With this loom, it is possible to use an industrial space-saving digital Jacquard loom in a manageable format in research and teaching. The development can be traced back to former Norwegian university professor Vibeke Vestby. With Norwegian research funding, she began developing a digital hand jacquard out of Oslo University of Applied Sciences. Following practical trials of the predecessor model TC1, she brought out a revised and optimized model in the form of the TC2 under the umbrella of Digital Weaving Norway.

With this digital equipment, the University of Osnabrück is outstanding in Germany when it comes to equipping the workshop area for students of textile pedagogy.

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