Secrets of handmade carpet weaving: tools and materials

أسرار صناعة السجاد اليدوي

Secrets of handmade carpet weaving: tools and materials

Despite the fact that in 1328, the first knotted rugs were used as coverings for horses or in Bedouin tents, a lot of progress has been made in the manufacture of this product, turning it into a decorative piece that embellishes every decor!

The ancient Roman, Babylonian, Persian, Chinese, Turkish, Pakistani and Indian civilizations considered weaving a rug a fine art, not only to decorate floors, but also used by kings and wealthy people to brag about it in front of their friends and enemies. History has recorded that Cleopatra was the last king of the Macedonian family, which ruled Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great. When she presented herself to Julius Caesar, Emperor of Rome, she was wrapped in a very beautiful carpet.

The techniques of making carpets from the ancestors passed through time to reach us in their exceptional form, and they were passed on from generation to generation, and the secret of handmade carpets was well preserved among the tribes and the most skilled and best weavers, whether in terms of techniques, designs, patterns, or even tools..

And now that carpets have become a unique artistic phenomenon that deserves celebration, and a heritage that should be preserved, it has become necessary to transfer knowledge related to the techniques and tools of its manufacture. In this article, we will discuss the most important tools used in weaving handmade carpets..

And before we know that, we should first understand what is a handwoven carpet? What are its types?

What is handwoven carpet?

Handmade carpets are also called oriental carpets, because they are mainly designed and woven in India, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and also in Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco, etc... It is a piece of art made using a series of different methods, and each handmade carpet combines ancestral traditions Conceptual modernity, which is a unique masterpiece, not only thanks to its patterns, designs and colors, but also with the special hand-craft tools used in its hand-stitching, and its various types, which makes it an exceptional piece of great value.

In the case of hand-woven carpets, it is necessary to point out that each carpet has three main aspects in its texture, namely, the warp or length of the carpet made of wool, the weft or width of the carpet which is also made of wool, or pile, and the height of the carpet which is a silky and soft material in end of the day.

What are the types of handwoven carpets?

A handmade carpet is a guarantee of quality, and it can be hand-woven or knotted, or hand-tufted, and there are differences between these weaving techniques, which were secrets that only skilled weavers knew mostly. Below is a breakdown of the most important types of hand-woven carpets:

Hand-knotted rug

Hand-knotted rugs are the rugs that are made by hand. This type of hand-knotted rug is the ancestor of the rug models that can be seen in the market. It is made up of three distinct elements: the warp, which consists of vertical, parallel threads stretched at the ends of the loom, and the weft and its transverse threads that accommodate knots and tufts formed by woolen threads tied around the warp. In most cases, hand-knotted rugs are made of noble natural fibers such as cotton or wool. Or silk or leather, since the handmade carpets were intended for building tents to protect against the cold of winter.

The weaver sometimes uses a mixture of these materials in order to obtain a more robust and high-quality carpet. Its value and quality are measured by the number of its knots. The higher the number of knots, the higher the value of the hand-woven carpet. The largest producing countries of this amazing type of carpet are Iran, Pakistan, India, Turkey and Tibet.

This craft weaving process takes a very long time, and the buyer may have to wait a few months before he can receive his hand-woven carpet, and therefore it is more expensive than hand-knotted carpets. A high-quality carpet has a knot count of 250,000 knots per square metre.

The technique of weaving hand-knotted carpets has been well preserved for centuries. Women of nomadic tribes in Central Asia weave these carpets using the same method as their ancestors, 3,500 years ago.

The technique consists of drawing the pattern which is then transferred to a paper surface, then knots are executed between the weft threads and the warp threads. There are several types of knots that can be used in the oriental rug, for example, either the Turkish knot, or the Persian knot is used.

What distinguishes the handmade carpet from each other is its final shape, that is, the shape that the equal knots will turn into (shaved or cut), and the lengths of the knots depend on the type of rug that the buyer wants, if he wants the fibers or threads to be long and prominent from the carpet, and they are the ones It forms the "pile" of the rug, which will eventually result in a soft, silky rug.

To enhance the strength of hand-knotted carpets, which are famous for their durability, craftsmen always secure a welt at the bottom of the carpet with several weft threads before knotting, and additional edges are added on all four sides to unite the weft with the backing after knotting. This technique is already used in the traditional centers of carpet production in Iran: Tabriz, Kashan, Herat and Kerman.

Then, using traditional carpet cleaning techniques by professional carpet weavers, the hand-woven rug is also hand-cleaned and then air-dried to restore the lustrous appearance and vivid colors of the pile.

In the Bedouin tribes that witnessed the birth of this method, about 3,500 years ago, carpets were made on vertical looms, and in the factories of this region, women produce carpets as well as very large carpets in large quantities.

Handwoven rug

Hand weaving was a manufacturing method used for carpets made from plant fibers such as seagrass or sisal. Today, these materials have been replaced by sheep's wool, but the technical techniques have remained the same.

The method of hand weaving consists of passing the threads one under the other until they are crossed to obtain a weft, thus obtaining a solid carpet, and the weaver often uses colored threads to create designs on the carpet, all by hand and on a hand loom, usually horizontally.

The warp threads are stretched using two supports attached to the ends of the rods planted in the ground. The weft threads are inserted crosswise so that they are perpendicular to the warp threads. Carpet designs are obtained by successive passing of the weft threads above or below the warp threads. Woven for a durable rug.

This method of making carpets results in a high-quality product. This technique is mainly used in the manufacture of "kilim" or "patchy" carpets. It is an easy technique for making complex patterns such as arabesques, curves, or floral motifs.

The tufted carpet

A hand tufted rug is made using a very precise manufacturing process, however, this technique is one of the great classics as it still requires the same manual dexterity from the weavers. This method of weaving a tufted rug is a know-how that originated in India and China. Moreover, it can The wool used is silk wool, bamboo wool, or even viscose.

First of all, the craftsman must have a model of the patterns he is going to reproduce on the rug, then carefully draw them on the cotton weft of the rug, and he must be very precise in order to be able to recover maximum detail.

Then the craftsman proceeds to place the pile of the carpet, so that you can plant it with the utmost precision, and the weaver uses a device called a wool gun, and this is a tool specially designed to obtain very precise stitching, and the weaver places the pile of the carpet on the weft and fills - using this wool gun - the interior areas with the chosen colors in advance and according to the pattern to be reproduced.

Once all the threads have been laid, to improve fixation, the weaver covers the back of the rug with varnish, and then, in order to ensure the protection of the rug, in the past the weaver would stick a piece of cotton cloth on its back (thanks also to this cloth, one can easily identify the rug ), and today, the cotton material has been replaced with a layer of silicone to ensure excellent hold of the tufts, and finally, to obtain a flawless finish to his work, the weaver shaves the pile, thus obtaining a smooth and uniform surface.

If the weaver has to weave a carpet with side patterns, another extra work will be required of him, and he will have to cut the grooves by hand with scissors or small electric mowers to get what is called a 'curved' carpet.

Tufted carpets can be made by hand from natural materials or synthetic materials, and a large number of weavers use natural materials such as hemp or flax, and in the manufacture of tufted carpets a horizontal loom is used that allows the surface of the carpet to be stretched, and this skill is now found only in the areas of original carpet production and often amounts to Their products are worth several thousand dollars, and the intricate rugs require more time when made by hand on old looms.

In this type of carpet weaving, the craftsmen were able to weave carpets of high quality, with a very large choice of very fine and multicolored patterns, thus, this tufting technique facilitates the process of weaving and offers great freedom of manufacture, shapes, colors, designs, patterns, everything is allowed and everything Something possible to deliver an exceptional product.

Types of carpets according to the rings

cut and loop

A cut and loop weave rug combines shaved and cut fibers to create a sculpted pattern in the rug. Geometric patterns are the most common for these rugs. One side effect of the different fiber lengths is that they age prematurely, as longer fibers can become untwisted and hide interest. optical output from short fibres.

Cut lint

Cut-pile rugs are ubiquitous, and this popularity is due to their great versatility and relatively low manufacturing cost. This type of rug appeared in the 1930s with the invention of the sewing machine, and was designed by pulling a loop of synthetic yarn or wool across a backing, then The fibers are cut using scissors to give a smooth appearance, and one of the most important defects of this type of carpet is its lack of durability, and this is because its pile falls more than other styles.

flat carpet

Flat-weave rugs are made on a loom by weaving a horizontal thread through vertical threads. These rugs come in different shapes and patterns and are made from a variety of materials, including cotton, jute, seagrass, silk or wool, kilim rugs and dori rugs. Two of the traditional styles of flatwoven rugs, these pole-less rugs are reversible and easier to clean than other styles.

Loop pile carpets

Loop pile rugs are made in the same way as cut pile rugs, the only difference is that the fibers are not looped at the end of the process, they come in different weights, thicknesses, and textures and are strong enough to be placed in high traffic areas, but they are also perishable due to animal claws that can tear them Loops by mistake Another disadvantage of this type of woven carpet is that it retains more dust and dirt.

Shaggy carpets

Shaggy rugs may be synonymous with the hippie culture of the 1960s, but this style dates back to ancient Greece. Shaggy rugs are the most delicate type of rug thanks to their dense pile. They consist of long loops of natural fibers that provide a very nice touch, so they are the perfect accessory for a room. Sleep, and these rugs are difficult to care for and vacuum due to their large thickness.

What are the raw materials used in the manufacture of handmade carpets?

Raw materials or fibers are considered one of the most basic elements for hand-woven carpets, and human use of fibers has evolved since the beginning of the first carpet until now, and the materials used vary depending on the country of origin of the carpets, and the discovery of new fibers has greatly affected the weaving of tapestries over the centuries, as follows A detailed understanding of the fibers used in carpet weaving, their origins and their characteristics:

Origin of fibers for carpet weaving

In prehistoric and ancient times, textiles were unknown. Extremely cold temperatures and arid lands precluded any cultivation and breeding. As a result, the first carpets were made from tanned animal skins, just like clothing. When the snow melted, plants were able to flourish. , thus introducing new materials such as cotton and linen. The weaving technique also emerged from attempts to build bunkers, especially the interweaving of twigs and branches of dry plants on the huts. The combination of weaving technique and easy-to-weave materials enabled the emergence of textiles. It seems that the love of luxury and appearance was innate in man and appeared almost immediately , which gave him the desire and curiosity to improve his creations in weaving textiles.

Very early on, Egypt and Asia Minor began to produce more and more fabrics and tapestries for decoration, and in these countries the shimmering colors of precious metals such as gold and silver temporarily marginalized vegetable fibers, and in spite of everything, this production remained very limited, making Linen or cotton fabrics and carpets, still very rare and only accessible to wealthy and noble families, Mongolia and China (circa 7000 BC) were major players in the textile industry thanks to nomadic peoples who were both herders of the thick-haired yak and weavers at the same time. , Cutting animal hair, making threads with pile, and sewing carpets with the wool obtained from them, allowed these tribes to live in complete sufficiency and in harsh conditions.

The ancient northern peoples learned the technique of weaving and knitting from the Egyptians, so these people of goat breeders began to weave the hair of this animal to obtain a fabric of high quality, and the carpets obtained from this wool were very resistant and were above all considered family heirlooms just like jewelry land and herds.

In ancient Rome, carpets were produced in homes specifically for decoration, and these valuables were temporarily displayed during special events such as games, funerals, or victories in war, and these were the beginnings of wall rugs and foot rugs. Hand-woven techniques vary and the quality of natural fibers depends mainly on the place of production. Most of the carpets used in Roman cities were imported from all over the world, and the carpet became a craft that tells customs, stories or beliefs thanks to patterns, lines and symbolic motifs.

After the antiquity of mats woven with animal skins, straw, and dry plant crests, came the time of luxurious natural fibers. The preferred material for weavers was sheep's wool, especially for gifts. Silk is also considered precious, but it is rarely used, although It above all gives a very shiny look to the carpet.

The use of wool and other soft fibers developed during the Middle Ages, and carpets woven with these materials from the East and Asia became exotic gifts of high value in the Western royal court, and this is the golden age of Persian carpets and ancient weaving methods invented by the Bedouin tribes in the Atlas (Iran, Iraq, Tunisia , Morocco, etc.), through the use of different types of wool, and many oriental carpets appeared with millions of knots per square meter during this long period, after the general public was content with carpets woven with straw and hay or even swamp grass to decorate their modest homes, and despite These rugs were very rustic, but they were very fragile and did not hold up well over time.

Wool fibers of different types

Wool is a natural fiber that is used to make carpet weaving yarns, it is stronger than silk, and it is ideal for knotted carpets, and even if sheep wool is used mainly, it is not available everywhere, and other regions of the world must adapt by betting on wool Obtained from the hair of other farm animals, some types of wool fibers are of better quality than others.

Wool Merino wool sheep Almirino)

This is a classic, inexpensive and very popular yarn. Merino is a breed of sheep that can be found all over the world. The fibers of this wool adapt well to different latitudes, which is why it is preferred by tribal weavers. Its soft and abrasion-resistant wool is ideal for making different types. From carpets: floor rugs, wall rugs, etc.

New Zealand wool

It is necessary to know that the quality of wool can vary from one breed of sheep to another, but also from one head of sheep to another, on the other hand, the breed of sheep raised in New Zealand descends from Merino, but it gives a lighter wool, but it is of consistent quality Exceptionally fine as its continental cousin, on islands on the other side of the world, this wool is a material that can be used to make clothing, fabrics, or even carpets.

Angora wool

The name "Angora" is now synonymous with quality, it is more delicate, but more expensive than Merino, Angora wool is actually obtained from the very long and fine hair of rabbits, and to make it more resistant, it is blended with other natural fibers, often the cost of this raw material hindrance.

mohair wool

There is a very rare breed of goats with softer and smoother hair called "mohair hair" and it is close to the properties of "angora" wool. The fibers of this special wool are used in making luxurious carpets, and due to the relatively high production cost, many people prefer to hang mohair rugs on the walls.

cashmere wool

This is another natural fiber obtained from very fine goat hair which is raised in India, this fiber is less suitable for carpet making because its very thin texture does not allow it to keep its exceptional shape, therefore it is rare to use cashmere for carpets because it is very expensive and soft.

Alpaca wool

These wool fibers are stiffer and mainly found in the mountainous regions of South America, so alpaca rugs are more practical as floor rugs in living rooms, and the clean geometric patterns of these rugs fit perfectly with any contemporary style.


In the old days, cotton was rarely used to make handmade rugs, because it lacks a bit of strength. On the other hand, this material absorbs moisture completely without deformation. In addition, the rug woven from cotton remains completely dry to the touch, and these fibers probably Perfect for knitting a rug to be placed under a dining room table or as an entrance or exit rug.


This precious material has been used to make carpets for more than 4,000 years. Silk is synonymous with luxury and splendor. Over the centuries, the silk thread rug has become the undisputed queen of luxury textiles. They were woven into tapestries, carpets, luxurious fabrics, and accessories and presented to royalty and the wealthy as diplomatic gifts.

Despite its strength, silk is subject to fraying, and although it is stronger than cotton or fine wools such as cashmere, it is not as durable as bast fibers or coarse wool, and as a result, silk carpets can only be intended for lying or touching and not for walking - except Perhaps if you are barefoot, and there are different types of silk according to the region of its production, including:

Chinese silk: China has always produced silk carpets in the past, and there are still examples of high-quality ancient carpets produced by the Chinese, and today China is one of the largest silk-producing countries.

Kashmir Silk: Kashmir is an Indian province with a long history of fine silk weaving, and today, Kashmir produces a large number of finely knotted silk rugs of high quality.

Egyptian silk: Egypt has become an important country for silk rug weaving, but unfortunately its silk rugs do not have an international reputation.

Turkish silk

The most expensive new silk rugs on the market today is undoubtedly from Turkish Hereke. For over a hundred years, Hereke has been known for its exquisite art of hand-knotted silk rugs.

* It was not only wool of various kinds, or cotton or silk that were the raw materials that were used in weaving the handmade carpet, but man also invented different fibers from plants throughout the ages, as he relied for weaving different carpets also on bamboo fibers, burlap, sisal or walnut India, and the weavers presented through these natural fibers rugs that are very modern today, helping to decorate the decorative spaces, giving them a more exotic look, and although they are less durable, they are still environmentally friendly products, which are favored by environmentalists and advocates.

What are the tools used in making handmade carpets?

Knitting a hand-woven carpet requires a lot of work, high-tech professionalism, great skills, and of course, after knowing the necessary fibers, it requires some basic tools. For manufacturers and independent craftsmen, the quality of weaving materials is as important as the raw materials used, and the tools required, in The following are the most important tools that weavers use to make a hand-woven rug:

the loom

A loom is a machine of equipment used by a weaver in the manufacture of rugs and carpets, or weaving textiles, and it can be industrial as in the case of the textile industry (textile production) or by hand, that is, it can be as simple as the wooden frame loom or as complex as the modern industrial loom that It is electronically controlled, and the width of the loom determines the width of the fabric.

The most primitive loom consisted of a wooden frame: a series of threads (the warp) stretched between two wooden pegs screwed to the ground, and, using a pole, every other warp thread was pulled to create an empty space (a roll) where another thread (the weft) passed perpendicular to the warp threads and then The warp seams are reversed to create another roll where the weft thread is attached. These stands, which make up the loom, are usually framed and traditionally made of wood, but today metal frames are made for ease of use and increased durability, especially when moving from one place to another.

warp and weft

Carpet weaving means that the weaver combines the warp and the weft of the carpet and gathers the carpet into it until its texture is complete. The warp, weft and knot are the main components of most textiles by hand which are made in various ways by the weaver and are interwoven and interwoven with the help of the special tools used by the weaver.


All the threads, silk, and wool used in a length of rug is called a warp or warp (plural of warp and stamens), and depending on the type of rug being woven, this warp may be thread, wool, or silk, which in terminology is called a warp or bundle, also called yarn (yarn) in English.


They are all the threads, wool, and silk that are used in the width of the carpet, or that extend transversely during the process of weaving the carpet.

The horizontal and parallel fibers and threads that are passed through the threads at an angle of 90 degrees are beaten with a comb after each row of carpet weaving to make the carpet more durable and strong, and the weft must be selected based on the carpet index. The warp varies with the elongation of the weft, and this elongation reaches 45 degrees at its lowest value and 90 degrees at its full elongation, and in terms of diameter and material, the weft threads must be compatible with other threads used in the carpet, and the weft thread is considered effective in determining the type of carpet weave ( flat weave, half flat weave, full weave)

The history of the loom through the ages

Around 7000 BC, at the beginning of the Neolithic period, the loom had warp threads that were stretched by means of a block on a cross bar, which was a loom cylinder on which the warp threads were attached..

Around 1400 BC, the first vertical looms appeared; Then the chain was stretched between two horizontal poles. This type of loom is still used for weaving.

Around 1000 BC, the horizontal loom had a rigid frame and a stick attached to certain warp threads in order to open the coil by lifting it.

Then the loom stopped developing until the Middle Ages, when pedals were used to lift a certain number of different loop ropes, and in order to obtain more complex patterns, adding pedals is a Chinese invention.

Types of looms used in hand-woven carpets

There are several types of looms used in carpet weaving, including:

Horizontal loom

The horizontal loom is the simplest form of the loom and dates back to at least the 6th millennium BC as evidenced by finds of charred textiles unearthed at Catal Huyuk (an archaeological site in Turkey located in central Anatolia, on the Konya plain).

Simply put, the loom consists of a frame of four rods that keep the warp taut while weaving the carpet. The simplest looms are made of two pieces of wood stuck in the ground. The horizontal loom is the oldest type made of wood and placed horizontally on the ground. The distance between these frames and the ground is about 30 cm. The weavers sit on the ground and press the legs and back of the loom. There is a clear defect in this type of loom, which is that it takes up a lot of space on the ground. A horizontal loom was invented to weave the first carpets and rugs.

Horizontal Loom History:

Since ancient times, horizontal weaving was practiced on the ground with a wooden frame on which the warp threads were stretched on the two columns (front and back) called beams, and the weft threads were tied between the warps using a small bobbin or a flat coil (a tray-shaped weaving tool that inserts the weft between The filaments of the stamens move according to an alternating horizontal motion.)

The horizontal loom was mostly used in the nomadic regions of Central Asia. Horizontal looms were invented by the Bedouins in particular, to facilitate their transportation due to the nature of the life of the Bedouin tribes and their continuous movement. Horizontal looms are spread in many mountainous areas, and in some tribal and rural areas, including Including East Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and others.

By 2500 B.C., more advanced looms appear to have appeared in East Asia, and fragments of silk fabrics found bound to bronze from the Shang (or Yin) period (18th-12th centuries) in China show traces of a twill pattern, suggesting Indicates an advanced knowledge of weaving, as these fabrics could not be practicably woven on the loom described above, these fabrics may have been produced on a horizontal frame treadle loom, and the logical connection between the horizontal beam and the horizontal frame treadle loom would have been an inclined bar loom It is controlled with one foot, of which no early illustrations have been found.

The earliest European pictorial record of a horizontal treadle loom dates from the thirteenth century, when it appeared in a highly sophisticated form, almost certainly introduced from the East, and this two-bar loom was mounted in a frame; To this loom was attached a foot-operated pedal, moving the lanes, and improving the rails or rope controls which are now mounted between the rails and called the shaft. The advantages of this type of loom were many, first, in the two-rail loom, although more than Two rods, the number of groups of warp threads was limited, and although very intricate patterns could be woven, it was not practical to do so in producing any very small quantities of fabric, and the column loom allowed up to 24 columns to be made easily, allowing the weaver the production of relatively intricate patterns, secondly, the weaver's sword or comb formerly used to strike the weft in place was replaced by a cloth supported by a heavy wooden frame from the main frame of the loom; Its weight and swinging motion improved and made the striking work easier, and thirdly, the use of the foot pedal freed both hands of the weaver to throw the coil and swing the piece, and the loom remained virtually unchanged for centuries afterward.

Today, in many traditional villages in Iran, weavers make horizontal and wooden carpet looms and use them to weave different types of carpets, and Iranian nomads and Turkmen-inhabited regions still use this precious art on weaving from this model of looms.

The winding device for the thread and fiber operated by the rollers allows a greater opening of the warp threads, and the angle of the opening of the pitch allows for better passage of the coil, this can be launched manually or mechanically (the moving coil), and the rod supporting the comb is easy to move back and forth.

Horizontal loom structure

Surface: The unwrapped part of the fabric between the roll and the last weft thread.

Medea: the space between the surface and the back woolen threads (one of a set of looped wires or ropes in a loom, with a hole in the middle through which the warp threads are passed before passing through the shaft to control its movement and split the threads.).

Length: the distance between the back yarn and the crossbar.

Pedal: A space or angle consisting of odd and even warp threads raised and lowered by the reed. This space allows the coil to pass from one side of the loom to the other.

Front beam, roll of fabric: a roll that stores woven fabric.

Backbeam or warp bobbin: The bobbin on which all the warp yarns are wound after winding, and is the longest and most delicate of preparatory work in that it determines the quality of the weave.

Regulator: Equipped with ratchet wheel, this device is used to stretch the fabric and warp threads to required tension.

Reed backing: The toothed reed allows even distribution of the warp threads and filling of the weft threads at every pass.

Pulleys: They are used to move the woolen threads, and to raise and lower the fibers and warp threads.

Warp thread: the threads that form the base of the fabric, parallel to the edges in the direction of length, and the number fluctuates according to the quality and type of fabric to be obtained, and it is prepared on a machine to straighten it before it is wrapped on the crossbar.

Rod, stretched bar, or crossbar: All warp threads are stretched or crossed on wooden bars called rods that hold the threads in place. This rod is used to return the thread to its correct place in case the latter has been cut.

Weft thread: A thread wrapped on a bobbin placed in the coil, and the amount of weft that has been loosened and inserted by the coil, from one edge to the other, is called the electorate.

The coil that holds the bobbin and the weft thread: a wooden element that allows the weft thread to be inserted from one edge of the loom to the other end, and the ends of the coil are formed into a hole to allow passage between the warp threads without tearing, and these holes are metal in the event that the coil (or moving coil) is fired with a hammer or Whip on mechanical looms.

Crankshaft: A mechanism that supports the pedals or steps.

Pedals or steps: attached to the fibres, allow passages to be moved, and warp threads to be raised and lowered.

Gathering: Gathering is used to maneuver the warp threads through the treads and paths.

String: A part of the braid whose lower plate is attached to the pedals and the upper plate to the pulleys, and between the two plates there are paths (or barriers).

Needles: Metallic needles that support warp threads through connections.

Stitches or ties: the central part of the fibres, the opening allows the warp thread to pass through, nets are used for plain textiles and overcoats for shaped fabrics.

Stabilizer: Positioned on the crossbar, it helps keep the warp threads moving.

After that, the horizontal looms gradually gave way to another type of vertical looms that stood on the floor, and today they are usually made of metal, and due to the type of structure of this loom this model takes up very little space and the weaver does not necessarily need to sit on the floor, but his legs can be raised To use a stool or even an orthopedic chair for sitting

vertical loom

Vertical loom, or vertical loom, is a type of loom used in the textile industry. Vertical looms are also used in the furniture industry with different techniques.

A vertical weaving loom with two pivoting bars makes it possible to dispense with the lower bar, and each rigid bar is attached to half of the warp threads, thus making it possible to weave a plain weave by alternately pulling the other bar.

History of the Vertical Loom

The vertical loom with four high bars appeared in the early Iron Age (between about the 8th and 5th centuries BC), each bar connected by warp threads, made it possible to weave cross weaves (twill or herringbone), and could be accompanied by two looms with racks ( one on each side) were used to create a braid that acts as an edge on the sides of the fabric, and this type of loom was used until very recently (20th century in Scandinavia).

There are different types of vertical looms. In some designs, the warp and carpet can be wound on both beams making it possible to apply new warping as the work progresses. Meanwhile, the carpet is wound on the lower beam, making it possible to weave large carpets later.

Vertical workshop looms are large and stable with the ability to completely stretch the warp and carpet. When weaving large carpets, many weavers work side by side, while the weaver works alone on smaller looms. In homes, the loom is sometimes simpler and not always stable. This characteristic, village rugs for example often show some defects in their shapes.

One of the most important advantages brought by the use of the vertical loom is to prevent damage to the carpet during weaving, and provides comfort to the weavers, and also provides a better view of the condition of the carpet before it is finished, and vertical carpets are used today in cities and villages throughout the Asian countries that produce traditional handmade carpets, where no Hand-woven carpets are still thriving there, and the beams of the vertical looms there are usually metal, and this type of loom is used in traditional regions such as Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran in regions such as Tabriz, Kashan and Kerman.

Other types of looms

In addition to the two most popular traditional types of looms, looms also come in a wide variety of sizes. They come in the form of huge free-standing hand looms, or small hand-held frames, to huge automatic mechanical tools. Below are some of the other most important types of looms used in hand-woven carpet weaving. traditional, various textiles:

back loom

The back loom is a simple loom developed by ancient civilizations and still used in many countries today. The warp is tied around a fixed object at one end and to the weaver at the other end. The weaver tries by his weight to keep the warp taut. A skilled weaver can produce beautiful patterns. and knotted using a back loom.

frame loom

Weaving looms include the simplest of the looms, the frame loom. Frame looms do not have the ability to create a frame. The weave you create on a frame loom is limited by the size of the frame. Other types of these looms have longer warps and provide ways to create frame.

Loom Incl

Incle looms are used to weave narrow strips of fabric such as straps and belts. They are portable looms and although they are weaving looms for beginners, they are also used by experienced weavers to create intricate patterns.

steel loom

It is a good loom for beginners, and offers much in terms of patterning to the experienced weaver through manual manipulation of the warp and weft, and with one rigid backing, it can be used for two-axle weaving, using generally thicker yarns than those used in multi-shaft looms, and by Adding other threads, the weaver can use thinner threads and weave more intricate patterns using picking sticks and hand manipulation techniques. Rigid looms are also portable and can be used with or without a stand.

table looms

They are smaller and more portable than floor looms but more compact than the other mini looms on this list They are made to be used on a table top or on a stand While you can get a table loom with more than 8 shafts the most common types have 4 or 8 shafts .

floor loom

These are the largest of the home knitting looms, they are self-contained and are designed for weaving larger projects Floor looms can be used to produce longer and wider pieces of tapestry, rugs but can also be used to knit smaller items such as scarves Floor looms generally have either 4 or 8 strap implements but They can have much more than that, and foot-controlled pedals raise and lower the belts, but the belts can also be lowered or raised electronically or mechanically.

The emergence of the mechanical loom

Since the nineteenth century, the loom has become increasingly automated and industrial, and countries producing carpets, or those that compete with oriental carpets, have begun to use mechanical looms, and in England in particular, a large number of carpets were produced by machine at first, and the production method was improved and reduced Its cost over time, on the one hand, less work was needed in the production steps, on the other hand, the production time has now been reduced to about 1 working hour for a complete rug compared to a handmade rug that takes months, if not years, to finish.

Jacquard loom

It is a weaving loom developed by Joseph Marie Jacquard of Lyon in 1801.

The jacquard machine combines the techniques of the needle, punched cards, and the cylinder. This use of punched cards is sometimes identified as the origin of the modern computer, and thanks to it, a single worker can handle the loom, rather than several at once.

Traditional jacquard looms are still used for the intricate designs of textiles such as brocade, while large, fully automated jacquard looms now produce large quantities of patterned fabrics.

Other traditional carpet weaving tools

two bookends

In order to strengthen the intertwining of carpet and weft fibers, a device called two bookends is usually used, and after passing each horizontal weft between the vertical threads, the weaver uses it to hit the woven part until the weft and fibers become intertwined and the process of weaving cohesion is completed. The type of bookends used is usually iron and consists of seven To ten thin iron blades with a width of two and a length of twenty centimeters, and in some regions of Iran, especially in the villages of Kermanshah Province, they are used to make small shapes, and the engraving of the carpet frame is made of a wooden or metal tool that has a different shape and size.


Carpet knitting shears are similar to regular scissors in terms of installation and operation. They are made of metal and consist of two blades connected by rivets and screws. They are opened and closed around the area to be cut. They are used to cut the pile on the carpet after attaching one or more rows.


If a weaver wants a pattern on his carpet, you'll need a stencil. This tool allows you to trace the design he wants on the backing, and so he knows where to place the different-colored fibers.
This tool is used more when making rugs in workshops, the pattern is drawn on a square sheet of paper where each square corresponds to one knot, the weaver follows this design board as a guideline, for both coloring and layout of the rug, and by using the design board, he can get a more accurate rug Sometimes this is also used in some villages where more delicate carpets and design panels are made also called talim.


This tool is usually made of wood and metal, and is used to gather the knots and wefts together in rows after each row in the carpet has been tied, and the comb is struck up and down along the warp to set the knots.

The knots and wefts of the carpet are beaten by this heavy tool, and the comb is characterized by different shapes, and its handle may be made of plastic or wood, or its blades may be made of metal, and all of these types in the end do the same work, and it is considered one of the most important tools necessary for weaving carpets.

Hook knife

This knife has two functions, it is used partly to hook the thread between the warp threads with a small hook, and also to cut the thread afterwards.
The part that looks like a knife must not be too thick (because the thicker it is, the slower the hook will be), and we must make sure that the tip of the hook is neither too big nor too small, because if it is too big, it will get stuck inside the threads of the fabric and make the work difficult, and if It was too thin, it would be hard to pick up the threads.


A spindle is used to spin wool by hand, and usually consists of a rod and a pulley attached to it that stabilizes the weight when the tool is turned, and when the wool is turned, it is spun into threads.

A very simple tool consisting of small metal nails attached to a fine paddle, it is used to clean wool and yarn in restoration and when making carpets.

tuft gun
This tool is used to make tufting carpets, carpets can be sewn by hand using a hook instead of a tufting gun, but this process will take about 10 times as compared to a tufting gun, basically, a tufting gun is a hand sewing machine, which will pull the thread on the fabric and cut it.

Primary and secondary mainstay

If tufting rugs, we need a primary backing (the canvas on which you will draw your yarns and sew your rug itself) and a secondary backing (the fabric you will put on the back of the rug after you're finished for a cleaner look and this backing you will glue with special carpet glue).

finally ..

Carpet weaving is the art of intertwining threads that allows us to create various types of creations thanks to its various techniques, where the threads fuse and lead to something unique and incredible. The process, tools and materials of hand weaving the carpet seem complicated at first glance, but for skilled weavers it is an integral part of their history and creativity. And their imagination.

For professional carpet weavers, the above-mentioned tools and raw materials are among the basic and necessary tools to start weaving carpets, and it does not matter if the carpet is large or small, knotted or tufted, these basic tools apply to knitting all types of carpets.

We hope that this article has helped you, knowing a detailed guide about the secret world of hand-woven carpets, and the types of tools and raw materials used in making the most beautiful types of unique traditional textiles!



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