Assignment 3: Weaving Fundamentals

Assignment 3 – Weaving


  • 2 X 24” of different colored yarns.
  • Cardboard


  • 1 Loom with shuttle and heddle (Design your own).
  • 1 Multimeter
  • Illustrator

Your challenge in this lab is to take your knowledge of weaving and design your own loom to cut on the laser cutter. The requirements or your loom are:

  • It has to have a shuttle and a way to create a shed (IE, a heddle).
  • It has to be made from cardboard
  • The design has to have a vector cut and a raster etch. Inscribing your names to the loom counts as a raster etch, but doing something more creative would be a better use of both our times.


  1. Draw a design and cut it out using scissors and/or a boxcutter to make a cardboard prototype for your loom.
  2. Once you finish your design, we will measure it in detail and create an illustrator file out of your object so you can manufacture it with the laser cutter.
  3. You will not have time to cut your project during class. Schedule a time with a fellow to cut the loom together using this link.

For more information on the IMA Laser Cutter, go to this link.

Once you have made your loom, try to create some of the following weaves:

  1. A basic weave fabric with some conductive threads woven in.
  2. A twill woven fabric.
  3. A weave of your own design.

Here are some examples of looms that students have done in the past:

S and Z Twists Continued

During yesterday’s class, there was a question about S-twist and Z-twist yarns and why one-ply yarns often are spun in one direction and when turned into two-ply yarns are spun in the opposite direction. I gave a simple answer of because it prevents unraveling, but here is a better visual explanation why, as explained by the Khipu Database Project.

Illustration by Julia Meyerson. From the Khipu Database Project.

A certain amount of twist is needed to hold the fibers together. Twist over that amount resides in the thread in the form of energy. A freshly spun singles thread almost always has extra energy, which makes the yarn want to kink back on itself and form snarls. One way to counteract this is to ply two yarns with the same twist together in the direction opposite that in which they were originally spun. That is, two S-yarns would be spun together in the Z direction; this operation is called plying, and each S-yarn is called a ply. The Z-twist of the plying operation holds the two yarns together and balances out the S-twist in the singles so that the finished yarn is stable and has no tendency to kink or snarl.


Assignment 2: Beginners’ Sewing and Embroidery for Circuits

Assignment 2 – Individual


  • 3 * 1.5 Coin Cell Batteries
  • 1 Coin Cell Holder
  • 1 Pushbutton Switch
  • 1 LED
  • 1 * 220 ohm resistor
  • 12” of Conductive Thread
  • 1 Spool of regular thread
  • Wires


  • 1 Multimeter
  • Sewing Needle
  • Embroidery Hoop

Your challenge in this assignment is to make a version of the circuit you made on the breadboard on a piece of fabric. Practice sewing on fabric first before jumping onto your fabric circuit.

  1. Outline where all the materials need to be placed and check the circuits to make sure they work in the arrangement you decide on.

  2. Sew the materials in place with regular thread using the couching method.

  3. Sew the connections together with conductive thread.

  4. If you have time, try thinking of different ways of replacing the pushbutton switch with means of closing a circuit.

Here are some great examples from students of previous semesters:

Maya’s light-up choker

Jiayi’s Circuit

Ariel’s Circuit

Konrad’s Circuit