The earlier power looms made of wood were gradually replaced by looms made of steel and other metals.Since then, technological changes have focused on making them larger, faster and more highly automated.
Thus, Aramid, a fibre similar to nylon, is stronger than steel, and Kevlar, a fibre made from Aramid, is used to make bullet-proof fabrics and clothing that is resistant both to heat and chemicals.
This freed the mills from their dependence on water-driven machinery and allowed them to be constructed anywhere.
Another significant development was the punch-card system, developed in France in 1801 by Joseph Marie Jacquard; this allowed automated weaving of patterns.
The term textile industry (from the Latin texere, to weave) was originally applied to the weaving of fabrics from fibres, but now it includes a broad range of other processes such as knitting, tufting, felting and so on.
It has also been extended to include the making of yarn from natural or synthetic fibres as well as the finishing and dyeing of fabrics.
Mechanical improvements began in ancient times with the development of the heddle, to which alternate warp threads are tied; in the 13th century AD, the foot treadle, which could operate several sets of heddles, was introduced.