Some designers say that they do not need a CAD, because they figure it all in their head. We can not say that it is not true, but it can only happen after many years of experience, and if you only do one type of fabrics all the time. Normal people like us need all the help as we can get, either from the CAD program like ArahWeave, or by doing many many trials on the loom.

How can we automate trials on the loom by using the CAD? We can make a weave blanket. It is an old weaver's practice to weave a sample fabric, made of many different weaves, as a decision tool for weave selection. Each weave section has a name or number woven for a reference. They create the so called weave blanket as a normal Jacquard fabric: draw a color image, replace color areas with weaves, and weave a fabric. The following image shows a part of a weave blanket, so that you know, what we are talking about.
weave blanket

Obviously, it is a lot of work to make a weave blanket, even with a CAD. Almost like drawing a calendar. Many design studios do it for publicity. But only once a year.

ArahWeave lets you create a Jacquard weave blanket in a matter of seconds. Still, you have to create the weaves on your own.
Load any indexed (8-bits per pixel) image into the Jacquard conversion window, and choose Weave blanket as a type of conversion.
weave blanket

Program automatically includes weave file name in each weave section. So you need to choose a weave for filename letters, and a weave for the filename background. Both weaves should be same type as the weaves, which will be included in the weave blanket. To load weaves, open Browse from the Choose weaves menu of the Jacquard conversion window. In the Browse window navigate to a directory, where the weaves which you want to weave, are located. Load a weave for background in the first color tab, and weave for letters in the second one. You should use contrasting weaves, so that you will be able to read the weave name.
weave blanket

There are four general settings in the Weft blanket conversion:

  • Number of weaves This is done by setting the number of columns in the Horizontal field, and the number of rows in the Vertical field.
  • Title size Choose the number of wefts, which will be used for filename in the Title height field.
  • Top edge Enabling it, you add some wefts (doubled title height size), woven with the weave for filename background, creating space for cutting the woven piece off the loom. You can customize this extra space by company name, batch number, whatever, which you type in the field below the Top edge box.
  • Weave blanket size You need to set the number of warp ends (hooks) in the warp field, and the weft threads in the Weft field.

In the following example we use 2400 warps, and 2160 wefts. The weave blanket will have six columns, and twelve rows, so the resulting weave blanket will contain 72 weaves. The size of each weave will be 400 warps (2400/6), and 270 wefts (2160/12). Program will use 36 wefts for woven filenames. The title on the top will contain text: "Made by ArahWeave".
weave blanket

By clicking with mouse on the weave in the Browse window, you select the first weave in the the weave blanket fabric (starting from bottom left corner).
weave blanket

Then just click OK in the Jacquard conversion window, and the program will generate the Jacquard weave according to your specifications. The picture below shows the weave blanket simulation. All that remains to be done is to make a Jacquard file for the loom, and actually weave it.
weave blanket

We first implemented this feature after suggestion of late Franco Gunetti on 5th of July 2000. It was originally done with normal shirting weaves, but later it proved to be equally useful on gobelin weaves.