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ScotWeave British Computer Society Medalist

Updated: Feb 2

Extract, British Computer Society Awards supplement

1996 IT Awards, Medalist.


ScotWeave software for Dobby, Jacquard and Technical Textiles


ScotWeave – Woven fabric design


The wealth of materials, dyes, textures, lustres and other finishes available in modern yarns offer tremendous opportunities to textile designers. This enormous variety of yarns, couples with the different overall textures made possible by the weaving process, poses a problem to designers. It becomes very difficult to visualise accurately the final appearance of a new design. The traditional solution is to actually weave a piece of material as a trail – this is a slow and expensive.


A small team led by Les Miller, a textile designer at the Scottish College of Textiles, has developed this suite of programs over a period of years. Currently there are four components in the suite. One ScotColor, allows the accurate measurement of the colour of yarns or dyes in the terms of internationally agreed standards. It also provides facilities to calibrate printers or display devices so that output colours exactly match the real yarns. Two other programs provide the design facilities for fabrics woven in Dobby or Jacquard looms. The final program ScotPaint, is a complete drawing package for textile design.


The main weave design programs are basically similar. Yarns are selected from a ‘library’ corresponding to the stock room of the mill. Warp and weft colour patterns are entered freehand or by keyboard. Weave structures can be defined in either of the conventional ways. With larger patterns it is possible to scroll across the design or to zoom in or out. ScotWeave simulates the differences in appearance caused by the variations form smooth synthetic to heavy textured ‘slub’ yarns. The image shown or printed also shows the effect of the cloth finishing processes chosen. This caters for the full range from smooth silken finishes to ‘raised’ and ‘brushed’ fabrics. Current development plans will extend these finished to include ‘looped’ fabrics such as terry towelling. Once the designer is satisfied with the design, the ‘ticket’ giving the full specifications for the weaving process is produced – including lengths, weights and costs of the yarns needed. Final designs can be directly transferred to electronically controlled looms.


The suite of programs grew form an academic project to a commercial product with technical and financial support from the British Technology Group. He college has successfully sold licenses to Africa, North and South America, Australasia and Europe and used by many textile education establishments.

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