RISD Installs State-Of-The-Art Jacquard Loom

“Then and Now” image showing RISD’s old and new looms.

The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) recently installed a state-of-the-art Itema jacquard loom to elevate the offerings of its Textiles department. In order to complete the installation in its Metcalf Building, the school had to perform some structural changes including a steel I-beam “cage” to support the weight of the loom.

The purchase of the new loom from the Italy-based machinery company was a collaborative effort between faculty, staff, engineers, manufacturing partners, as well as funding from the Pevaroff-Cohn Endowed Chair discretionary funds and industry partnerships. Contributors to the project of note include former Mary Anne Friel, Textiles department head, Jack Silva, vice president of Campus Services, among other contributors.

The machine was selected for its flexibility. The weaving machine supports a wide range of student projects in a research and development setting.“The flexibility of the equipment is extremely important,”said Anna Gitelson-Kahn, head of the Textiles department.

March/April 2024