Open Source Hardware : Big-Bad-Bobbins

Posted in Textiles

Week 8: Open Source Hardware Assignment

Lace-making scaled up : Big-Bad-Bobbins

As an avid textile designa dn maker, when I first moved to Barcelona a sought out local schools teaching techniques. With the Escola Puntaires group, I began to learn the art of lacemaking and in the summer I visited the Museu L’Arboc. These are some images from the museum as well as current students work who are attending a school there. Many pieces can take up to a year. The modern mechanised lace is not created in the same way.

My lace

As I am a beginner, I have started with simple techniques. As you can see, the technique is intense, laborious and creates very fine details.

It uses pairs of bobbins which have the ends of thread on each pair and these are initially used as counterweights for each other.  The pins hold the knots and twists in places which are decided on based on the pattern you are following and the effect you want to create. It is like a super fine macrame using threads only the width of sewing thread and usually cotton.

When I first started the course, one of the teachers began to discuss with me just how many possibilities there were with this technique, how it could be changed, modernised all with the traditional skills kept intact e.g by using unconventiaonal yarns or even scaling up. This idea stayed with me and it was one of my missions on the fabricademy course to see if this was possible.

My Lace-bobbin designs and 3D printed versions

As this topic came around, I decided to see if it was possible to make some of the lacemaking bobbins. Initially with the help of the assistant tutor Mohammed, we created a bobbin on the 3D printer (you can see this in the last image next to one of the original bobbins and one of the double sized bobbins).

Using the outline of a half of a bobbin I created 4 designs of a half-silhoutte. I then expanded it on a cetral axis rotaion to create the objects in 3D view.

There was a few ways in which these bobbins could be created: traditional turned in wood, milled, 3D printed, creating moulds and casting… or a combination of all of them. On discussing it with people like Mohammed, Anastasia as the FabLab Head Technician Martin, I decided it would create the bobbins using a 3D printer.

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I have now create all 4 designs and would like to try them out soon, but I’m waiting to get back on the lace making course, which will start in the summer of 2018.

Silicone & Clay Moulds

As an additional look at this topic, I would like to create an Instructable tutorial in the future to show the details of how a clay and silicone can be used to make moulds which I began to make during the course.

I am yet to test the mould, but I would like to try making them in bioplastic as well as a material like plaster.

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