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Shabbos Photograph #1

Shabbos Daf 105a



(or the foot-pedal loom)
The main parts of the loom are:
(a) The two end rods to which the Shesi (warp thread -- white in this picture) is tied (Koved ha'Elyon and Koved ha'Tachton). When there is a large amount of thread, it is wrapped around the rods. That is, the thread that is not yet woven is wrapped the left rod in our picture, and the woven thread is wrapped around the rightermost one (Koved ha'Elyon), where the weaver usually sits (although he is not sitting there in our picutre.)
(b) The heddles, or frames from which loops are hung by threads (orange and red in this picture) through which the Shesi is passed as it is stretched between the two end rods. These are connected to each other through a pulley system which raises one when the other is lowered and vice versa.
(c) The raising and lowering may be accomplished through the use of a foot-pedal, visible hanging from the heddles in this picture.

(on the horizontal loom)

Shloime Wolfson (seated), who built the loom in the photograph, and his brother Pinchos, are demonstrating how the loom is used.

(a) Using the foot-pedals, the weaver raises one heddle, lowering the other. Since every other thread of the Shesi (the white warp threads) passes through one heddle, and the rest pass through the other, this action raises every other thread of the warp and lowers the rest, creating a "tunnel" through which the shuttle (Buchiyar - Shabbos 96b) is passed. In this picture, Pinchos is passing the shuttle (a white ball of wool) through the tunnel that Shloime created in the Shesi with the foot-pedals.

(b) Next, the positions of the heddles are reversed. The lower one is raised and the raised one lowered. The shuttle is passed around the rod at the side of the loom before it is returned through the tunnel in the opposite direction from the previous pass.

Every time the shuttle is passed through the Shesi, an Erev (woof, or weft) thread is added to the garment-to-be. The newly passed thread is pushed towards the closer of the two end rods (on the right, in this picture), and it is pressed tight with a comb-like apparatus which is affixed to the loom (not included in the loom pictured), called a "Kirus." (In the standing loom, a "weaver's rod" is used to accomplish this instead -- Rashi 105a DH Metzuvyesa.) When enough garment is formed, the end rod is cranked to wrap the formed garment around the end rod, and to expose more Shesi on the other end of the loom.

(c) The garment is formed where the Erev threads are pressed, and eventually the ends of the Erev threads which loop around the side bars of the loom are severed, and the garment remains at the end of the loom, wrapped around the end rod.

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