Weaving entails interlacing two sets of threads rectangularly; the process comprises three operations: keeping one set of thread taut (warp); opening the warp; and inserting and beating up another set of thread (weft) across the opened warp.
Finding means to provide tension to keep warp stretched, and mechanisms to slacken it, contributed to the evolution of loom's design and structure. The loom's development continued from warp-weight to a two-bar loom, which the early Egyptians used.
In another case, warp tension was achieved by attaching a bar (with one end of threads tied to it) to a belt around weaver's waist. This loom, back-strap loom, made possible, among others, fabulous Andean textiles. It can still be found in use in remote regions of Asia and several parts of Central and South America.
This simple boat-like gadget traverses the opened warp, inserting the weft yarn wound on a pirn lying inside it. The flying shuttle sped up weaving; and allowed weavers to make wider fabric.
To create patterns and designs, required sections of warp were selected using shafts or harnesses that attached the heddles with foot treadles.
The"final" third step in the weaving process, beating, or battening, of weft was earlier done by a weaver's sword of wood (batten knives) which gave way to reed, a comblike tool, that, together with the heddle, combined warp spacing and beating of weft. The reed is suspended from the loom's framework and swings to press the weft against the woven fabric.
In fact, even the most modern machines -- such as the rapier loom, which uses a finger-like carriers, called rapiers, to carry weft -- use the same basic operational principles of weaving that has been used by their precursors since prehistoric times.
Many societies across geographies came up with their own ingenious tools to aid weavers in the three basic steps of the weaving process: this explains the existence of myriads of looms and the rich history of weaving.
Our looms are made of wood from sal tree: a native of the Indian subcontinent with religious significance to Hindus and Buddhists. The channel in the loom -- that allows the flying shuttle to traverse the width of the loom -- is made with teak for smoothness.