Tag Archives: virtual loom

Weaving technology: from textiles to big data

After a whole year working, we are happy to announce that the first versions of the SILKNOW Thesaurus and Virtual Loom are already done and will shortly be open for everyone to use them are quickly moving forward.

The specialized SILKNOW multilingual thesaurus is being carried out by experts in textile terminology and art historians, and computationally implemented by experts in text mining and multi-/cross-linguality and semantic extraction from text. Controlled vocabularies are essential for researchers as they allow them to be as accurate as possible when defining a term (for conservation and curation purposes) especially in cataloguing, conservation and curation. The SILKNOW thesaurus is designed to connect various textiles located in diverse collections and to standardize a widespread and fragile heritage.

The Virtual Loom is being designed and implemented by computer scientists with expertise in interactive 3D graphics, being supported by experts in historical weaving techniques. So far, we have implemented the basic techniques (plain weave, twill and satin) and a pictured weaving technique (damask). As input, the Virtual Loom takes an image, which is interactively processed to discern between the background and the yarns. This information, together with mathematical models of the weaving techniques, are computationally merged to produce a virtual model of textiles’ internal structure. The Virtual Loom is of interest for the creative industries and education sector, as users are able to use different weaving techniques for a given image, choose yarns’ colors, navigate through the virtual model and produce 3D printed models.