A Multiple Colour Bobbin Winder: An Enhanced Accessory for Transforming Indigenous On-Loom Weaving

William Badoe, Nana Afia Opoku-Asare, Ross Emmanuel Ansah


Indigenous hand weaving is an ancient traditional handicraft practised in many cultures across Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe and Latin America. The looms and accessories are made from local materials and the mechanism for their operation involves simple technologies that are easy to learn. These traditional hand weaving looms mostly produce long, narrow strips of patterned woven fabric that are sewn together to construct cloth, carpets and other specialized end-user woven products. Bobbin winding is an integral aspect of weft preparation for weaving. Bobbin winders used by cloth weavers in the indigenous Ghanaian textiles industry have capacity to produce single bobbins only at a time, which lengthens the yarn preparation and weaving periods, and reduced productivity of cloth weavers. The bobbin winder described in this article is semi-automatic, capable of winding multiple bobbins with single or multiple coloured yarns of uniform tension concurrently within a short time for higher rate production of woven fabrics in direct contrast with existing bobbin winders. This bobbin winder was based on the Universal Design Methodology and constructed with the sole aim of resolving limitations of existing bobbin winders in order to transform the traditional weaving industry. Testing the bobbin winder for broadloom weaving by 58 textiles students proved the technology is simple, efficient and effective; easy to manipulate and wind multiple bobbins within a short time. This implies time saving in weft preparation and hand weaving for increased productivity in Ghana’s indigenous textiles industry.

Keywords: bobbin winder; weft preparation; hand weaving; traditional loom; indigenous textiles industry


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