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Picking (in weaving) is an important part of making fabric in textile factories. It’s when the weft threads go through the warp threads to create the fabric. This step affects how the fabric feels, how strong it is, and how it looks. It’s especially important when making things like towels. Doing the picking right is crucial to getting good-quality fabric and reducing mistakes. Different kinds of looms, like old-fashioned shuttle looms and newer air-jet and rapier looms, are used to do this job. 


  • Weft Insertion
  • Weft Threading

These terms are used as synonyms when describing the specific action of inserting the weft yarn into the warp during the weaving process.

Context of use of the terms: In the textile industry, the term “picking” is commonly used by textile engineers, loom technicians, and fabric designers. It is especially used in the design and manufacturing stages of fabric production.

Picking Process: Step-by-Step Explanation

Here’s a detailed technical explanation of the process:

1. Preparation:

  • Warp Setup: Before picking starts, the warp yarns are set up and tightened on the loom to make a steady vertical base.
  • Weft Preparation: The weft yarn, usually wrapped on a bobbin or cone, is ready to be inserted into the warp.

2. Shedding:

  • Shed Formation: The loom’s shedding system lifts or lowers certain warp yarns to make an open space or shed for the weft to go through.
  • Shed Control: The loom’s shedding movement is managed by its shedding cam or dobby system to make sure the shedding happens in the correct order.

3. Picking:

Once the shed is made, the weft yarn goes through it using a picking method. The picking method depends on the loom type.

  • Shuttle Picking: A shuttle with the weft yarn moves back and forth through the shed.
  • Projectile Picking: A small metal or plastic piece pushes the weft yarn across the loom.
  • Rapier Picking: A thin, flexible rod or tape called a rapier moves the weft yarn across.
  • Water Jet Picking: A strong water jet pushes the weft yarn over the warp.
  • Air Jet Picking: Pressurized air quickly pushes the weft yarn through the warp.

4. Beating up:

  • Fabric Compaction: After weft insertion, the warp yarns are pressed together to compact the fabric and ensure proper interlacement of the weft and warp.
  • Beatingup Mechanism: The beatingup action is performed by the loom’s reed or beater, which is moved forward to consolidate the woven fabric.

5. Continuous Operation:

  • Synchronization: The loom’s control system coordinates the shedding, picking, and beating-up actions to weave fabric consistently and without stopping.
  • Process Repetition: The shedding, picking, and beating up steps are repeated continuously by the loom’s sequence controller. This ensures the fabric reaches the desired length during the weaving process.

6. Finishing:

  • Postweaving Treatments: After weaving, the fabric might get additional treatments like washing, dyeing, or stretching to improve how it looks and works.

The picking process is key in weaving because it determines the fabric’s texture, quality, and how well it performs. Choosing and fine-tuning picking techniques are important for making top-notch, consistent fabrics in textile manufacturing.

Types of Picking in the Textile Industry

  1. Conventional or mechanical picking:

Shuttle Picking: 

Shuttle picking uses a shuttle, which holds the weft yarn. The shuttle moves back and forth across the loom to insert the weft through the warp yarns. 

This method depends on the shuttle moving back and forth on the loom’s machine. Though shuttle picking makes fabrics with even and tight weaves, it’s slower because of how the shuttle moves.

  1. Non-conventional Non-mechanical Picking

Projectile Picking: 

Projectile picking uses a small metal or plastic device called a projectile to shoot the weft yarn across the loom. The loom’s movement powers the projectile, guiding it to place the weft through the warp. This method is faster and more flexible than shuttle picking due to the absence of shuttle movement limitations. It can also handle a variety of yarns and designs.

Rapier Picking: 

Rapier picking uses a thin, flexible rod or tape called a rapier to grab the weft yarn from a fixed source and move it across the warp. Rapiers can work alone or in pairs, with double-rapier systems moving together from both sides of the loom. This method offers precise control for inserting the weft and managing tension. It’s ideal for weaving detailed patterns and delicate yarns without causing any damage or distortion.

Water Jet Picking: 

Water jet picking uses a strong jet of water to push the weft yarn across the warp. This powerful water stream speeds up the weaving process, reducing time and increasing production. It’s especially good for weaving synthetic fibers because the water doesn’t harm the yarn’s strength or properties.

Air Jet Picking: 

Air jet picking uses high-pressure air to shoot the weft yarn quickly through the warp. The controlled release of this pressurized air pushes the weft yarn fast and accurately into place. Although air jet picking is very fast and efficient, it’s best used for weaving lighter and simpler yarns. The reason is that it has less control over tension compared to other picking methods.

Benefits of Picking in the Textile Industry

  • Better Quality: Picking makes sure the fabric looks and feels the same all over, making it higher quality.
  • Faster Production: Good picking methods can speed up the weaving process, saving time and money.
  • More Types of Fabrics: Different picking methods let us make a wider range of fabrics, from thin to thick.
  • Less Waste: Accurate picking means fewer mistakes and less material wasted.
  • Creative Designs: Modern picking techniques allow for more intricate and interesting fabric designs.
  • Consistent Production: Using standard picking methods makes it easier to train new workers and keeps the fabric quality consistent.
  • Better Quality Checks: Checking the picking process helps make sure the fabric meets the high standards customers expect.
  • Saves Money: Efficient picking reduces production delays and repairs, making it more cost-effective.
  • Ecofriendly Products: Using resources wisely and reducing waste makes textile production more eco-friendly.
  • Stay Competitive: Using the best picking methods helps textile companies make better products and keep customers happy, giving them an edge over competitors.

Using the right picking method boosts production, encourages innovation, and helps companies stay competitive worldwide. This highlights the enduring significance of picking in fabric manufacturing.

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