How Rugs Are Made

Techniques and Structures:


Horizontal looms

Vertical looms

Looms do not vary greatly in essential details, but they do vary in size and sophistication. The main technical requirement of the loom is to provide the correct tension and the means of dividing the warps into alternate sets of leaves. A shedding device allows the weaver to pass wefts through crossed and uncrossed warps, instead of laboriously threading the weft in and out of the warps.

The simplest form of loom is a horizontal; one that can be staked to the ground or supported by sidepieces on the ground. The necessary tension can be obtained through the use of wedges. This style of loom is ideal for nomadic people as it can be assembled or dismantled and is easily transportable. Rugs produced on horizontal looms are generally fairly small and the weave quality is inferior to those rugs made on a professional standing loom.

Vertical looms are undoubtedly more comfortable to operate. These are found more in city weavers and sedentary peoples because they are hard to dismantle and transport. There is no limit to the length of the carpet that can be woven on a vertical loom and there is no restriction to its width.

Three broad groups of vertical looms

There are three broad groups of vertical looms, all of which can be modified in a number of ways: the fixed village loom, the Tabriz or Bunyan loom, and the roller beam loom. The fixed village loom is used mainly in Iran and consists of a fixed upper beam and a moveable lower or cloth beam which slots into two sidepieces. The correct tension is created by driving wedges into the slots. The weavers work on an adjustable plank which is raised as the work progresses.
Women weaving a Rugs on vertical loom ( 1890).
The Warp and the Weft    

1. The Warp

Is the set of vertical wires stretched between the two ends of the loom.

The carpet fringe are the ends of the warp threads.


Front and back of a Persian carpet. Appreciate white weft yarns between nodes.

2. The Plot

Consists of one or more transverse threads (usually two, one and one loose tense) arranged between two rows of knots.

Frame serves to tighten the knot in parallel rows and ensures the strength of the carpet. The plot is compressed by a special comb



1. The Symmetrical Turkish and The Asymmetrical Persian:
2. El farsbâf

Two basic knots are used in most Persian Carpets and Oriental rugs: the symmetrical Turkish or Ghiordes knot (used in Turkey, the Caucasus, East Turkmenistan, and some Turkish and Kurdish areas of Iran), and the asymmetrical Persian or Senneh knot (Iran, India, Turkey, Pakistan, China, and Egypt).

To make a Turkish knot, the yarn is passed between two adjacent warps, brought back under one, wrapped around both forming a collar, then pulled through the center so that both ends emerge between the warps.

The Persian knot is used for finer rugs. The yarn is wrapped around only one warp, then passed behind the adjacent warp so that it divides the two ends of the yarn.

The Persian knot may open on the left or the right, and rugs woven with this knot are generally more accurate and symmetrical.

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