Tag Archives: rug

Persian Carpets: aa040797

Handmade carpets have been made throughout the history of civilization. Some of the oldest carpets discovered date back to the 7th century B.C. Major Persian rug weaving areas were in Turkey, Pakistan and Iran.

Weaving techniques were passed on through families. Regions and villages had their own unique styles and colours of carpets.

Carpets were woven on two types of looms. The horizontal loom was typically used by nomadic people. The vertical looms were primarily used in the larger cities.

Two types of knots are generally used in Persian carpets.
ghiordes
The Ghiordes or Turkish knot is looped around two warp ends. Finger hanks or bobbins of various colours are picked up as needed and passed through the warp thread, over 2 warp threads and back under the second warp thread. The weaver then cuts the thread after each knot is tightened.
seneh
sehna knot
The Seneh (or Sehna) knots loops around one warp thread and protrudes into the next warp thread. Because the knots are tied onto each warp thread, it gives a more even distribution of pile for the rug. Using a finger hank or bobbin of yarn, it is passed under a warp thread, over the same warp thread and then under the next warp thread. The yarn is then cut.

After a row of knots is tied, a weft thread is woven across the width of the rug, securing the knots into place. The number of weft threads woven, can vary depending on depending on the length of pile and thickness desired. Knots are not tied up to the selvage, rather a technique called Argatch is used to strengthen the edges of the carpet. Extra picks of weft thread are woven to fill in the space of the missing knots.

After the rug is completed, it is cut again to produce an even pile. The carpet is then brushed to open up the pile.

Cotton yarn is generally used for the warp. The weft is made of wool, silk or mohair.

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Navajo Rugs: aa031097

Native American Navajo rugs were influenced by the Pueblo Indians and by the Spanish explorers.

Navajo rugs are handwoven on an upright loom. The wool is handspun and dyed using natural dyestuffs. Black or grey came from the natural colours of the sheep. Yellow was made from turnip roots or sage. Senna gave a rust colour and walnut was used for brown.

Navajo rugs are hand manipulated. Each thread is woven by passing it by hand over and under the warp threads. A few of the techniques, that are also common to other tapestries are described.
slit
In the Slit technique, each colour is woven back and forth, separately. This is generally used in small sections as a slit is created in the rug.
warp interlock
Two colours can also meet by wrapping around the same warp thread. The Warp Interlock creates a jagged edge and is used in diagonal joins.
weft interlocka
In the Weft Interlock, the two adjoining colours wrap around each other between two warp threads. It is used on long vertical joins.


Diagonal (or other) shapes are woven using a combination of interlocking techniques. The steepness of the diagonal determines when to change to the next colour.

D. Y. Begay described the process of weaving a Navajo rug. How the sheep are shorn, the wool is carded and spun on a Navajo spindle and dyed using natural dyes such as mistletoe fungus found on juniper trees, yellow from Chamizo stems and flowers, and rose colours from the prickly pear cactus fruit. She also uses black beans, walnuts, cedar bark, blood roots, onion skins and cochineal for her rich palette of colours.
[http://www.amug.org/%7Edybegay/weavprp.htm]

Navajo weavers today such asLena Ateneare teaching their craft to their children, hoping to pass their knowledge on before it is lost forever. She describes her life as a weaver and her respect for the loom.
[http://www.math.utah.edu/~clemens/Stories/Lena.html]

Fleecing Navajo Weavers
The popularity of Navajo rug designs has allowed some fair trade businesses to thrive while Navajo weavers suffer. Thousands of Diné (Navajo) weavers face formidable competition as their historic patterns, increasingly reproduced abroad, are imported and sold via sophisticated marketing schemes, including hundreds of websites on the internet.

Navajo Women Artists in Resistance are members of the sovereign Dineh Nation. Their website describes their desire to protect their traditonal lands, language and culture of weaving, silversmithing and agriculture.

Sadie Curtis Navajo Weaver

Navajo Weaving Books

The Goat in the Rug
Geraldine is a goat, and Glenmae, a Navajo weaver. One day, Glenmae decides to weave Geraldine into a rug.

Blanket Weaving in the Southwest
A masterful classification scheme for southwestern textiles—and a book that establishes an essential baseline for understanding craft production.

One Hundred Years of Navajo Rugs
Designed for the general reader, museum goer, or collector, it offers a guide to identifying and dating rugs by means of weaving materials. Wool quality, the author explains, is the single most important clue to the date of a rug’s manufacture. Rodee also provides historical background on the great Navajo weavers and especially on the traders who bought rugs from the Navajo.

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