Mechanised weaving is where the loom performs the four basic weaving operations in an automatic and synchronised manner:
• lifting and lowering the frames which allows the warp threads to be separated into two layers;
• launching the shuttle which allows the weft thread to be passed through;
• tamping with the reed;
• gradual advance of the warp.

According to research carried out by Vaucansson, the first wooden mechanical looms were made in the last quarter of the 18th century, although the large-scale spread of metal looms did not occur until the last 30 years of the 19th century - only this material is really capable of withstanding the shocks produced by the movement of the shuttles.