Toyota Industries Corp. G-Type Automatic Loom ‘GL9’
Loom mechanization began in 1733 when British inventor, John Kay, came up with the vintage ‘flying shuttle’ machine.
This eliminated the need to operate the shuttle loom process by hand, and this was an upgraded version of the previous machine designs.
In 1785, the British reverend Edmund Cartwright created a powered loom and continued to make improvements on his designs.
This European technology was first introduced to Japan during the Meiji era (1868-1912) and wooden imitations were soon being made locally.
In 1896, the Toyoda style steam loom was invented by Sakichi Toyoda.
In 1900, Yonejiro Tsuda invented a power loom that could weave silk, again greatly contributing to the development of the textile industry.
In November 1924, with the highest possible performance as the goal, Sakichi Toyoda created the world’s first ‘Non-stop Shuttle Change Automatic Loom’(dubbed ‘G-type’).
This was an automatic loom that could replace the shuttle smoothly and replenish the weft during full operation without any reduction in operating speed.
The G-type loom was a dramatic improvement and resulted in a huge improvement in fabric quality and productivity levels.
This new loom could now create fabric at 15 to 20 times the speed of conventional power looms.
The G-type automatic was manufactured for roughly 65 years, with models starting from ‘G’ with the production began in 1924, all the way up to the ‘GL10’ in which the production ended in 1989.
A tube with the weft would inside the shuttle is installed.
The weaving is done by reciprocating the gap between the warps at a relatively low speed, about 160 to 180 rotations per minute.
All the units are also equipped with a loom winder which automates the winding process and the replenishment of weft yarns to increase production efficiency.
Even with all of these features however, the G-type looms are not very productive when compared to modern looms due to their low speed.
The use of these vintage looms (and the number of looms themselves) has greatly declined since the introduction of the latest high-speed automatic looms.
The G-type looms, however, are capable of weaving thick yarns well, and they can create moderate levels of unevenness in the weave.
Fabrics made on a G-type automatic loom have a unique finish with a surface similar to hand-woven fabrics due to the swelling of the woven weft.
The denim created by these looms is known as ‘selvedge’.
JAPAN BLUE defines this fabric as ‘real denim’.