This loom is from the early 1800's. It takes about 3-4 weeks to warp with threadlike silk at 160 ends per inch. The cord in the middle is an automatic shuttle enabling a weaver to weave 10x faster than hand throwing.
Beside and above the loom is the punchcard that tells the loom which threads to raise in order to create the pattern. That huge stack of cardboard is what is required to create 1 full repeat, in this case about 10 inches.
The 3 crown pattern. A damask weave still used by the royal family. I find out that the Sidenväveri not only acts as a museum but also occasionally takes on custom orders. This piece is being woven for upholstery. The client had to first ask special permission from the royal family before commissioning this piece from the museum. Later, as I walk near the royal palace, I easily spot 3 crowns adorning the buildings.
In the upstairs loft of the museum, an archive of drawings and samples are stored in large climate controlled drawers. The detail is exquisite. I can't imagine creating something this perfect without the aid of a computer.
Back downstairs, my expert weaver guide shows me what she works on when the museum is commissionless. Ivory silk in the warp and horsehair in the weft, this is exactly what I love about the Swedish design aesthetic. The contrast of the rough hair works nicely with the luster of the silk. The face isn't smooth, as it is in the damask samples, but variegated and almost straw like. The frayed edges are a lovely touch.
The back, or the front depending on how you look at it.