An interactive real-time, distributed control system for textile weaving machines including real time, interactive bi-directional communications centrally manages the whole range of activities of a weaving room. Microcontrollers at each weaving machine control most of the routine weaving functions and operations, but communicate in real time with a central computer which provides large-scale data storage and analysis. Easy, consistent automatic machine set-ups result from electronically downloading cloth style and dobby control data from the central computer to the weaving machine microcontrollers. Because communications between the microcontrollers and the central computer as well as much of the analysis performed by the central computer occur interactively on a real time basis, correction and optimization of the weaving process at individual machines is possible, resulting in higher productivity and quality. Less of quality product is produced since weaving machines are stopped automatically when out-of-control conditions occur and/or real time adjustments in independent weaving variables (e.g., filling angle of release) are made.