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A dobby mechanism is used to program the harness combinations for the weave pattern. Dobby is short for “draw boy” which refers to the weaver’s helper. The weaver don't have to make a choice between many harnesses for every shed opening he wishes to make. This work is simplified by using a dobby.

The mechanical dobby has a drum with program bars. For each combination of harnesses, you have a program bar with 16 holes (one for each harness). If you want a harness to be raised, you place a peg in the corresponding hole of the program bar. After a pick, the program drum rotates slightly and the following program bar is set in front of the mechanism. Through a treadle, the selected harnesses are pushed up.

The 'Meta' dobby is build in a floor stand on top of which fits the common table loom with 16 harnesses. You can fix the loom 4 small hooks. It is always possible to pull up the harnesses with the levers. The dobby has a drum with 32 program bars. You can take out the drum easily, so placing the pegs is simplified. In front of the loom, there is a hand wheel with numbers (1 to 32), so you can see which is the current program bar.

Weaving goes as follows:
Turn the hand wheel to the desired position, the drum will rotate bringing the right program bar in front of the mechanism. Push the treadle on the right and the selected harnesses will raise. After weaving a pick you can release the treadle. On the left side there are two small treadles which rotate the drum: one treadle to choose the following program bar, one to choose the previous bar. Push the left small treadle so that the drum rotates counterclockwise. Then push again the big treadle on the right and the following selection of harnesses rises. Weave a pick, release the treadle, push the left small treadle for the following selection, and so on.

Assembly and adjustment of the dobby   photos
dobby and loom
dobby and loom program bars
selection wheel

Suppose you want to make a weave with block pattern and one block counts 5 repeats of 4 picks.
Make 4 picks (according the method above): the first repeat. Then turn the hand wheel clockwise to the first pick. Again make 4 picks using the small treadle on the left to turn the drum. After 5 repeats (20 picks), turn the hand wheel to the first pick of the second block ...

Suppose you want to make a herringbone twill (e.g. the twill line reverses direction after 8 picks). Weave 8 picks using the small treadle on the left. When the twill has to reverse, use the right small treadle to turn the drum clockwise after each pick.

With one drum, you have 32 different harness combinations (32 different picks). When you need more, you can weave the other picks using the levers in front of the loom. Another option is to buy a second drum, changing the drums is very easy.

Table loom 70 cm, including cross sticks, 2 metal warp rods and cords to tie them

prices in Euro bare woodvarnished
table loom with 16 harnesses 830.00 960.00
floor stand with dobby  1450.00
both table loom and dobby 2095.00 2410.00
extra drum with 32 program bars and pegs  200.00


polyester heddles (texsolv), per 100 pieces 15.55
metal heddles 28 cm, per 100 pieces 17.00
stainless reed 70 cm, 3 teeth/cm 38.40
stainless reed 70 cm, 4 teeth/cm 38.40
stainless reed 70 cm, 5 teeth/cm 42.00
stainless reed 70 cm, 6 teeth/cm 42.00
flat shuttle 50 cm 3.70
flat shuttle 70 cm 4.40
boat shuttle 30 cm 22.00
bobbin winder Anderssons 90.00
paper quills per 10 pieces 0.45
raddle 70 cm waxed beech 50.00

extra options

bare woodvarnished
bench, beechwood, adjustable in height, 50 cm width 135.00 165.00
shelf 23.00 29.00
second warp beam 95.00 110.00


table loom 70 cm 16 harnesses with dobby, beater with brass bushes, 400 Texsolv heddles, stainless reed no 4, loom in bare wood 2330.00
table loom 70 cm 16 harnesses with dobby, beater with ball bearings, 400 Texsolv hevels, stainless reed no 4, varnished 2510.00
table loom 70 cm 16 harnesses with dobby, beater with ball bearings, 600 Texsolv heddles, stainless reeds no 4 en no 6, shelf, raddle, boat shuttle with paper quills, bobbin winder, bench, varnished 2944.00