My Name is Dobby


I thought it would be fun to have a capybara named “Doggy.” Then if I had to call him from afar, he would come running and everyone would think he was a dog. I thought it would be fun to have a capybara named “Dobbin.” Then if I had to call him from afar, he would come running and everyone would think he was an old horse. I thought about the untameable texture of his coarse capybara fur, and thought it would be fun to name him for the fabric woven on a dobby loom. In the early 1800’s, Dobbie was a household sprite. I thought about what a Big Help he was going to be around the Funny Farm, and Dobby sounded like a pretty good name.



He became a page when his facebook profile was deleted. Because abandoning the Dobbye Winnick persona would leave thousands of friends forever wondering why they had been unfriended by a cantankerous capybara, I opted for their “We’ll convert you to a page!” offer. I sincerely hope that each and every friend will find him at his new profile location, which also cannot be called “Dobby.” Facebook allows MANY, MANY other people and pets to use the name Dobby, just not me. (Check out the “likes” here and it doesn’t even include the dogs and cats.:

[NOTE: On August 6, 2014, the planets aligned, and Facebook approved the name change from Dobbye to Dobby! It only took 5 years!]


Dobby’s fur, muddy



2014-07-03 16.44.17_w

Dobby’s fur, muddier




See how it looks like some fancy weaving is going on there at the top?

The dobby loom looks like this:

Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

TM158 Strong Calico Loom with Planed Framing and Catlow’s Patent Dobby (that top part is the dobby)

Lately, I’ve begun to see dobby fabric, but I was still confused about what the dobby weave was all about. The dobby part of the loom allows the weaver to lift some of the fibers so that a pattern can be introduced into the fabric. I found this shirt on sale, and bought one so I could examine it.

Unfortunately, no decorative yoke, fancy stitching, glittery thread, or rhinestones

Nothing in this description sounded much like capybara fur.


My Dobby Shirt


The dobby part is the wide red stripe with all the chevrons.













After examining this shirt I realized that many, many western shirts have the dobby weave. I just didn’t know what it was called. Then I began to see other dobby fabric. I think to know a true dobby fabric you would have to see the loom, but the resultant “dobby” is always a patterned texture that is woven in. If there are any weavers out there who can elaborate, please do!

dobby weave

Another shirt featuring a dobby weave

dobby weave w

This is the same shirt in white.

dobby weave w det

Can you see the pattern now?

I didn’t buy those shirts because they aren’t on sale yet. I did buy a couple more that were marked down to basement bargain levels. You can clearly see the pattern here.


Dobby weave in beige


Dobby weave in navy blue







There were quite a few examples on the internet, and I was surprised to see houndstooth listed! But of course, dobby looms have been around a long time, and it was an inexpensive way to introduce pattern and texture into fabric without dyeing. Here are a few other samples, too.


Houndstooth! Very traditional old pattern.


Traditional dobby weave







Dobby stripes


Windowpane plaid with dobby weave






Take a look through your closet and see if you have any dobby fabric! I don’t think you can post photos in the comments, but if you email me photos, I’ll add them to the post.

Meanwhile, let’s look at Dobby’s fur again. Wait, what’s that other thing?

2014-07-07 16.49.02_w

Dobby fur


Dobby Fur





2014-07-14 00.15.28_w

Old woven napkin


Dobby Fur





So, one more. This is a hammock I picked up in Panama. Dobby or not? It is more like woven colors than woven texture, but I like the woven fish so much I wanted to show it off a little bit!

2014-06-14 16.16.24_w

Hammock from Panama, home to the Lesser Capybara

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