What's a Dobby?

The dobby determines which shafts are raised for each pick and automatically moves along to the next combination as the weaving progresses. This is important for looms with lots of shafts, since most of us only have two feet and they can only reach so far!

Harry Potter fans might recognize the term dobby as also being the name of a certain house elf ... is this a coincidence? The word dobby originated as a shortened form of drawboy, the young person who pulled the drawcords for weavers on industrial drawlooms. Once automated looms were developed in the 1800s, the drawboy was replaced with their mechanical counterpart and we call them dobbys to this day: A small and helpful device that tirelessly helps you weave - a bit like a little elf.

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