Rug weaving and construction techniques –
Rows of knots are fixed to a base of weft and warp which then creates the pile (upright yarn)
With the warp running along the entire length of the carpet the fineness of the weave completely depends on the proximity of the warps to one another.
Strength is dependent on the tightness, when the rug is finished the ends will become rug fringes, they can be tasselled, braided or weft faced.
Warps found on the side of the rug are normally mixed into one or more of the cables with varying thickness, these form the selvedge.
The wefts thread under and over the warps from one side to the other.
They can be unplied or loosely plied allowing them to be packed tightly to secure each row of knots.
Weaving commences by feeding a number wefts to form a base. Knots are then tied around adjacent / consecutive warps.
Nomadic & village rugs will often use inherited / traditional designs (often reproduced from memory)
Often this type of rug will usually have symbolic associations but often a collection of ideas stolen or evolved from other designs.
Town rugs were much more sophisticated. Using curvilinear designs sometimes reproduced from cartoons usually decided by the head weaver.
Occasionally including a symbol or mark associated with the area of the head weaver.
Looms are very similar in most of their essential details, although they can vary in size and quality.
Fineness of weave and sophistication of loom strangely don’t always go hand in hand.
The most important requirement of any loom is to provide exacting tension and a way of separating warps into alternate groups of leaves.
A shedding device / shuttle enables the weaver to pass wefts through crossed and uncrossed warps. This saves lots of manual threading.
The most basic loom is a horizontal one, this can be staked to the ground with side supports.
Wedges provide the means to achieve the necessary tension. This type of loom was perfect for nomadic people due to its easily assembly and break down.
Vertical looms are the most comfortable to operate but not as easy to dismantle and re erect.
Larger carpets & rugs can be manufactured, this type of loom proved to be extremely popular in India where room size rugs could be made.
Vertical looms can be broken down into three groups –
The Fixed village loom – Tabriz / Bunyan loom – Roller beam loom.
A little bit of rug history
Rugs are such a popular part of people’s lives today.
Its always good to get an insight into rug origins / manufacture.
Rugs add colour and texture to our homes, its interesting to read a little bit about their history.
For us its a natural curiosity as we spend a lot of time cleaning rugs !
Learning about rugs was an important part of our national carpet cleaners association training.
Interesting information on rug fibre colouring & dying.