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TC2 Loom

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The Thread Controller 2 (TC2) produced by Digital Weaving Norway is a computer-sequenced loom for weaving textiles by hand. The TC2 software accepts TIF or BMP image files that can be generated either using digital design tools such as Photoshop or using custom code (e.g., Python or Matlab scripts).  The TC2 software interprets the image file to automatically control the shedding sequence as you weave.  Unlike traditional frame-based looms, the TC2 has independent control over every single warp end, making it possible to create very complex, non-repetitive, non-geometric weavings.  And yet, using the TC2 does not require any significant weaving experience.  Experienced weavers, of course, are better positioned to make creative use of the instrument's capabilities.

Our TC2 is a 3-wide model with six heddle modules.  This means the weaving width is 110cm/43" and the warp is threaded at 30 ends-per-inch.  Our TC2 was purchased with Making@Stanford funds and lives in the Product Realization Lab.

How to Use

While the TC2 is straightforward to use while weaving, there are some tricks and guidelines for the digital design process.  Likewise, maintaining the loom (including adding new warp and troubleshooting when issues occasionally occur during weaving) requires expert attention.  For these reasons, we are trialing an access model in which five or six users per quarter can be guided through the digital design process, initial testing of their designs, and full production of a textile piece (43" wide and up to 72" long).  A rough estimate is that each user needs to spend roughly 20-25 hours to complete the whole process, with roughly ten of those concentrated within a single week during which the loom will be exclusively reserved for them to weave their full piece.

Some materials costs (yarn) are the responsibility of individual users for their own pieces, and usage is currently limited to open hours of the Product Realization Lab (PRL) machine shop.  Before beginning the training and production cycle, TC2 users must complete PRL safety orientation.

Contact Hideo Mabuchi at