In July, 2014, I was lucky enough to spend five days working with two different AVL Jacq3G jacquard looms, as part of my effort to compare the two major brands of jacquard looms (the other is Digital Weaving Norway’s TC-2). (While I have done my best to verify the accuracy of this article with AVL, I can’t guarantee that everything is accurate – especially since loom features and pricing change over time. When in doubt, check directly with the manufacturer.)
If you are wondering what a jacquard loom is, Wikipedia has a helpful article here.
For my comparison of the TC-2 and Jacq3G looms, see this page.
The AVL Jacq3G in a nutshell
- 120 heddles per module
- Cost per module (as of July 21, 2014): $3,848 per module (US dollars)
- Base cost of loom: depends on size and beams, beaters chosen. The most inexpensive configuration, a 30″ A-series frame with air lift, one plain beam, and bottom swing beater (plus crating and handling) costs USD $25,020.95 before shipping and taxes.
- Cost of 1,320-hook configuration (48″ wide, 11 modules, bottom swing beater, one plain beam): $56,394.95
- Plus shipping from AVL (cost varies depending on where you are and ship method chosen)
- Setts of up to 80 epi (higher setts are feasible, but requires custom construction)
- Sett continuously adjustable using Dial-A-Sett mechanism to tilt the modules, bringing the hooks closer together
- 1, 2, or 3 warp beams; beams may be plain, ½-yard sectional, or 1-yard sectional. Beam revolution counter available for those who like to warp sectionally
- Warp tension controlled via live-weight tension equivalent; manually moving a weight up or down the lever sets the warp tension
- AVL auto-advance (available as an option) advances a small amount every time the beater comes forward; the exact amount is set manually. Generally some fiddling in the first few inches is required to get the auto-advance set correctly.
- Thread lifting mechanism: choice of electric or air-assisted
- Connection to computer: Ethernet, USB, serial
- Fly shuttle: 1,2, or 4-box flyshuttle
- Electrical requirements (max):
- Per module: 3 amps at 110V, or 1.5 amps at 220V
- E-lift: 8 amps at 110V, or 4 amps at 220V
- A-lift pneumatic input: 5 CFM at 100 PSI
- Choice of bottom swing or overhead swing beater
- Can be used with AVL rotary temples and selvage rollers, as well as regular temples
- Uses standard 5″ rounded-top weaving reeds
- Dimensions and hooks for A-series frames:
|Weaving width||Maximum # of modules recommended||Height||Width||Depth (front to back)|
|30 inches||7 (840 hooks)||90 inches||45 inches||84 inches|
|40||10 (1200 hooks)||90 inches||62 inches||84 inches|
|48||12 (1440 hooks)||90 inches||62 inches||84 inches|
|60||15 (1800 hooks)||90 inches||74 inches||84 inches|
|72||18 (2160 hooks)||90 inches||86 inches||84 inches|
(The Professional Jacquard Rug Looms allow slightly more hooks for a given width, and allow up to 4800 hooks for the 15-foor weaving width frame ““ see AVL’s website for details):
Setting up and using the Jacq3G
Getting the right sett
- The sett can be adjusted using AVL’s Dial-A-Sett feature, which enables you to tilt the modules to bring threads closer or further apart. Minimum sett is 8 epi; maximum sett is approximately 80 epi.
- To adjust the sett up or down while weaving, cut off, turn the Dial-A-Sett to the approximate sett you want, then re-sley and continue weaving.
Warping the loom
- Beaming is done normally using sectional, back to front, or front to back as desired.
- Threading the loom the first time is laborious, but normally one simply ties onto the previous warp, which is much quicker and easier.
- Warp tension is set using AVL’s automatic tension (set using a weight) or locking brake, depending on which version you have opted for.
- Auto-advance is set up manually using a mechanism that advances the cloth each time the beater is brought forward. Some fiddling in the first few inches is to be expected.
- Load a PNG, BMP, or J1P file into the JacqPoint Loom Controller software. (All non-white pixels will be raised.)
- Start weaving!
- The computer (connected to the loom via Ethernet, USB, or serial connection) detects the next pick, and fires a solenoid for each hook that is to be lifted. The solenoid deflects a hook at the top of the module just enough that when the metal “knife” is raised, the top of the hook is caught and the thread lifts.
- Can weave forward or reverse or tabby
- Did not time weaving speed, unfortunately! But did not “feel” enormously faster or slower than the TC-2.
- Warp beam capacity: Depends on the thread – a finer thread may get up to 300 yards. Plain beam theoretically with proper equipment could go to much higher yardage.
- Dial-A-Sett mechanism allows changing sett (even with a threaded warp!) while weaving with the maximum number of hooks. Can also cast out hooks, but not automatic.
- Quite quiet; didn’t measure decibels, but easy to talk over the noise of the loom.
- Can be used with rolling temples and selvage rollers
- 1, 2, or 4-box fly shuttle available
- Overhead or bottom swing beater
- Sandpaper beam tensions warp and cloth separately
- Can “tie on” simply by laying warp over sandpaper beam
- Choice of electronic lift or air assisted lift
- Sett limited to the Dial-A-Sett range 8-80 epi (though setts of up to 300 epi are achievable with a custom configuration)
- Number of modules (and hence the number of hooks) is limited by frame width. In special cases, more modules may be added.