January 29, 2014

Wool, Linen, and Gold Thread for the High Priest Clothing (Part 2)

Once I found the right threads for the clothing of the Jewish high priest, I had to figure out how to combine them into a loomed piece of fabric. At first I tried using the white linen thread as the warp thread, and then individually using the purple, blue, and red wool thread as the weft threads. This was very difficult to work with on the loom and did not look very good, as it created a striped pattern instead of a more solid color (see blue and red stripes on the left on the below image).

Test fabric using scrap yarn and various threads and weaves
I finally decided that I needed to twist my own yarn. I first created a wooden rope twister out of pieces of wood and a coat hanger to test out the thread. Once I decided on making my own thread, I made a Lego machine that stretched each piece of yarn out (around 50 feet long) and then twisted the three yarn colors together using the Lego machine on each end (similar to a ropewalk). The problem is it took around two hours to twist about 50 feet of yarn. At this rate, it would take me approximately forever to complete just the yarn. I had to come up with a more effective method for twisting yarn.

I started searching online and found several motorized yarn twisting machines, including this one built using an erector set. Once I saw it, I knew that this was how I would twist my yarn. The final machine (see below for images) includes four motors, 27 gears, and who knows how many pieces. With this new machine I can spin about 100 feet in about 20 minutes.

Front side of my Lego yarn twisting machine
The key to the machine is a small gear (see the second image below) that allows for two separate rotations on the same shaft. This allowed for the three bobbins to spin one direction, while allowing the actual shaft to spin another direction. This was no small feat to figure out to say the least.

The three bobbins with purple, blue, and red wool yarn
The center gray gear allows for two separate rotations on the same shaft
To create tension, I added a rubber band to the bobbin mechanism
The next challenge was how to add the gold thread. At first I placed it on a fourth bobbin (next to the three others). However, the gold always got trapped inside of the thread. The only solution I could think of was to wrap the gold on the outside of the thread after it was twisted, ensuring that it stayed on the outside.

This mechanism keeps the yarn separate until it is twisted together
Gold thread is wrapped after twisting to ensure that it stays on the outside
The final winder that pulls the finished yarn through the machine
The backside of my Lego yarn twisting machine


  1. Do you have any instruction how to build it?

  2. No instructions, sorry. Hopefully the pictures and video will help if you want to try and rebuild it.

  3. Hi, would you consider building another one for me? I will pay and donate to your cause.

    1. I assume you mean the lego machine? Not the clothing of the high priest, right? I recently found a company that will do this same thing (http://customyarn.com/). That said, if you still want the lego machine, I would need your email address and then I can contact you personally.

  4. Hi, this is a really awesome build. Thanks for sharing the images and video with us. I would like to build something like this for my wife to help her out with productions at our church. I can build it but I could use some help souring the parts you used. Do you happen to have a parts list for this build?

    Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    1. I don't have a parts list, and I have not actually taken it apart (except to make some modifications), as I use it on a regular basis for classes. I'm happy to give ideas to fill in the gaps, but the pictures and video are all I have to help out with how to build it.

    2. Ok thanks, I'll see what I can come up with from the pictures and post back here if I have any questions. Have a wonderful day!

  5. AnonymousMay 24, 2018

    Hello, Daniel! I would like to buy this machine. Could I ask you to contact me, please? iudenko@it-enterprise.com

  6. سلام دنیل
    از اینکه این دستگاه خیلی عالی رو ساختی تشکر میکنم.من از دستگاه شما ایده گرفتم که از مکانیزم های دیگه جهت ساخت طناب استفاده کنم.امیدوارم موفق بشم.

  7. Hi Daniel Thank you for making this very excellent device. I got the idea from your device to use other mechanisms to make the rope. I hope I succeed.


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