Ekelund uses about 20 jacquard looms for its production.
The jacquard technology allows a pattern to be created by individually lifting the warp threads to make them show up on the top of the textile. Where the warp threads are not lifted, the weft thread is brought to the top side.
Finally the warp threads are feed through a reed, a comb like assembly, where most the time 3 threads are feed through the same opening. The reed moves back and forth to secure each added weft thread to its predecessor to form a textile.
The weft threads are fed through the shed, which is the opening between the lowered and raised warp threads, and from one of the sides, depending on direction, is fetched by a pick after having first passed through a purveyor and a tensile regulator. Each individual weft thread is cut after each pass through the shed, and is folded back into the weave. All this at a speed of 250 – 400 times per minute.
The change of the pattern layout is done by the jacquard equipment located high above the loom itself. From here all the harnesses originate controlling the patterns. Each different pattern is loaded into the computer running the loom by means of a diskette. The control of the jacquard is then performed by the computer.
This technique allows us maximum flexibility, and we can therefore weave any of our color patterns in any quantity without having to change the warp or weft set-up. All that is needed are new control signals to the loom computer which is done in seconds.
Traditional weaving techniques to preserve and develop our textile heritage, is very inspiring. We weave primarily with plain color warps, as well as unbleached yarn, and where we need to obtain color and patterns we use colored yarns in the weft. In order to weave our patterns, we use about 20 different colored yarns.
Our material combinations are:
Linen and cotton mixes
Bamboo viscose and cotton mixes
Plastic sleeves sent to plastic recycling.
Paper cores sent for incineration.
Oil from oil changes in the looms is sent for recycling.
Fabric strips, about 2% of a total production of approximately 2,000 kg (4,400 lb).
The strips, 1.5 cm wide (0.5”) comes from woven edges, which secures the weft yarn prior to the final cut. The strips are currently incinerated. We have over the years worked hard to find more sensible uses of these strips. Previously we sold these strips to consumers, who used to weave rugs. We've also tried to let the strips be shredded to fibers and mixed together with new longer fibers to create new yarn. The quality was not acceptable.
Environmental Hazards: None identified.
Environmental Benefits: Pixel weaving reduces the required number of yarn colors. This reduces the amount of residual yarns and the need for storage space.