Weaving looms were part of civilizations that existed in the Paleolithic era (this is the era where humankind invented stone tools). Certainly, it was around in the Neolithic era (10,200 BC, when humans started farming). A scrap of textile was found that researchers believe dates back to 5000 BC.
Flax was the fiber most often used by Egyptian weavers at this time, but other civilizations relied on wool for making cloth, except in China and Southeast Asia, where they were already weaving silk from silkworms. By the biblical times, all major civilizations were using weaving looms.
Women in Mesopotamia used the exceptionally light fabric to embroider clothes for their kings some 5,000 years ago. It was harvested to make robes for King Solomon, bracelets for Nefertiti, and holy vestments for priests, popes and pharaohs. It’s referenced on the Rosetta Stone, mentioned 45 times in the Old Testament and thought to be the material that God commanded Moses to drape on the altar in the Tabernacle.
Vigo is believed to be the last person on Earth who still knows how to harvest, dye and embroider sea silk into elaborate patterns that glisten like gold in the sunlight.
No-one is precisely sure how or why the women in Vigo’s family started weaving byssus, but for more than 1,000 years, the intricate techniques, patterns and dying formulas of sea silk have been passed down through this astonishing thread of women – each of whom has guarded the secrets tightly before teaching them to their daughters, nieces or granddaughters.
“If you want to enter my world, I’ll show it to you,” she smiled. “But you’d have to stay here for a lifetime to understand it.”
Vigo learned the ancient craft from her maternal grandmother, who taught traditional wool weaving techniques on manual looms to the women of Sant’Antioco for 60 years. She remembers her grandmother paddling her into the ocean in a rowboat to teach her to dive when she was three years old. By age 12, she sat atop a pillow, weaving at the loom.
“My grandmother wove in me a tapestry that was impossible to unwind,” Vigo said. “Since then, I’ve dedicated my life to the sea, just as those who have come before me.”
Discussion with Maestro Chiara Vigo + screening of Il Filo dell’Acqua
Museo del Bisso di Chiara Vigo
Meanwhile . . .
Joseph-Marie Jacquard is interested in using silk for weaving and visit’s Suzhou CHINA.
The town has also been an important center for China’s silk industry since the days of the Song Dynasty, between 960 and 1279. Jacquard visited the Suzhou Silk Factory a near 100-year old state-owned factory in Suzhou, the city of silk in China. They were using blocks for weaving at that time and this is where Jacquard copied the idea and brought it back to France.
Joseph-Marie Jacquard’s Loom Uses Punched Cards to Store Patterns
1801 – 1821 http://www.historyofinformation.com/detail.php?entryid=508
The head of a shop memorized all the patterns.
In the 1700s many inventors and industrialists tried to mechanize the weaving loom. This was done with varying degrees of success and it wasn’t until the early 1800s that power-weaving became common. This took weaving out of the home, where artist would hand-weave and turned it into a mechanized process that was done at factories.
The blocks became known as “punch cards” which would allow the machine a greater flexibility than anything mankind had then invented to do calculations.
A punch card is a piece of stiff paper that contains digital information represented by the presence or absence of holes in predefined positions. The information might be data for data processing applications or, as in earlier times, used to directly control automated machinery.
Punch cards were widely used through much of the 20th century in what became known as the data processing industry, where specialized and increasingly complex unit record machines, organized into data processing systems, used punched cards for data input, output, and storage. Many early digital computers used punched cards, often prepared using keypunch machines, as the primary medium for input of both computer programs and data.
Punch cards are the beginning of computer programs. Learn to turn the ones and zero’s on and off.
Tell the punch cards what to do 🙂
Scott E Fahlman :-)
From: Scott E Fahlman <Fahlman at Cmu-20c> I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers: :-) Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark things that are NOT jokes - given current trends. For this, use :-(
Learn to code for free.
“There are so many aspects of civilization that can be improved through better systems — and software is just a way of telling computers how to enact those systems.” — Quincy Larson