Rapier Rod Weaving Machine Saurer 400 with digital Jacquard Machine IV: Automatic Yarn Supply
The Rapier Rod Weaving Machine Saurer 400 uses a rapier rod that inserts the weft thread from one side only. This allows for a much faster weaving speed. This particular weaving machine was built in 1982 by Bourgoin-Jallieu/France, Saurer Diederichs S.A. It was used to mass produce raw fabrics for technical purposes and outer garments between 1982 and 2008.
Today it is a working exhibit at the LWL-Industriemuseum TextilWerk Bocholt. It is used to make miner’s cloths and towels for creative projects and the shop. In 2013 the museum combined the weaving machine with three digital Jacquard machines by the Swiss company Stäubli. The Jacquard machines enable the museum to weave patterns and lettering with up to three colours into the cloth.
The digital and electric Jacquard machines are the successors of the mechanical ones. Just as their modern counterparts and basically every computer, the historical Jacquard machines used binary code to translate and implement the pattern within the weaving process.
Unlike their mechanical predecessors, however, electric Jacquard machines are hardly audible. The sounds from the weaving machine dominates the recordings at all times.
The automatic yarn supply, which can be heard in this recording, is a small external machine on the right hand side of the weaving machine. It unrolls the yarn and issues it to the rapier rod. The rapier rod then carries it as weft thread through the warp threads. Since this happens at such high speed the automatic yarn supply issues the thread with an exact tension to prevent the yarn from tearing.
Sound Recordist: Kathinka Engels
Photographer / Videographer: Kathinka Engels