Q:

How did the Cartwright power loom work?

A:

Quick Answer

According to About.com, the Cartwright power loom was powered by steam and worked by combining threads to make cloth. The power loom was mechanically operated in textile mills beginning in 1785.

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Full Answer

Instructables states that a loom frame, a heddle and shuttles are required for using a loom. Deemed "warping," the loom frame is wrapped with yarn to be used. Mary Bellis, an Inventors Expert on About.com, explaines that a power loom requires exact movements and sequential steps to be used properly, and it's maneuvered by levers, gears and springs.

In 1785, Edmund Cartwright set up a factory in Doncaster, England, to manufacture cloth. He also invented a wool-combining machine to improve his power loom. In 1813, the power loom was introduced to America by a team lead by Francis Cabot Lowell. Cloth made by ginned cotton was then manufactured for wholesale, but spinning remained popular in America. Francis Cabot Lowell studied English textile mills to improve the American power loom. Lowell teamed up with Paul Moody to recreate the power loom, and together they opened a machine shop at Waltham Mills. Power looming became more popular after 1820. Also in 1820, women replaced most men in textile mills. According to About.com, Edmund Cartwright's steam-powered power loom heavily influenced the American textile industry and modern looms today.

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