Re: A Few Structural Questions--Daniel's scans

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Posted by Marla Mallett on December 30, 1998 at 22:27:55:

In Reply to: A Few Structural Questions posted by Marla Mallett on December 29, 1998 at 19:44:46:


Many thanks for your comments and for posting the scans with structural details from your rug. They're great! Just what we need for this kind of discussion.

In your first picture, arrow #3 seems to indicate an area with both a short row of discontinuous knotting and some discontinuous wefts. Though it is a practical way of straightening a crooked rug, this area is quite strange and irregular, isn't it? Improvisational weaving! I love it! If arrow #2 is pointing at the wide, wedge-shaped section of tan wefts, those do seem to be extra, added, discontinuous wefts; but I can't see any discontinuous knotting in that area. I can't see that your arrow #1 points out anything unusual at all. But it is definitely easier to see these things on a rug than in a photo--even an excellent scan like yours. May I make one small suggestion for the future?...It is easier for everybody if textile details are shown with the warps running lengthwise--vertically--as they were on the loom. If this standard textile practice is followed, then nobody gets confused about what they're seeing. And we don't get dizzy looking at the photos sideways.

In your picture #2, I can't see any crossed wefts. I will try to post a series of drawings that show exactly how weavers cross wefts between sheds. It is senseless to explain without illustrations. You may be sorry, though...these features can sometimes be devilishly hard to locate. But they represent such a distinctive practice, I think they should be worth the trouble. The actual weft crossings can be done in a couple of ways, and the floats are clearest of all on Chinese Ninghsia-type rugs, so I will hunt for examples on one of those pieces.

As for your end finish, it appears to be oblique WRAPPING--not interlacing or twining. The only twined end finishes that I have seen use warp loops--a truly astonishing technique. Logically, crosswise warp-end bands done with ordinary twining should exist somewhere among Asian weavings, but I have seen no examples.

It is risky to identify some of these bands without poking at them with a needle, but the tight, slightly diagonal columns on the back of your example are the clue to its identification. This band is constructed much like weftless soumak, except that small groups of WARPS are turned sideways to WRAP through a few taut warps for a short distance. I'll try to post a drawing. Sometimes the sides are reversed, as either side can be used for the front of the rug. I have an Anatolian Kurdish kilim or two on which your "back" is instead the front. In my book's chapter on end finishes, though, there is much more: I have over 20 illustrations of different crosswise warp-end bands, as well as explanations of how they are made, ways to identify them, and diagrams. I've covered many other kinds of end finishes and decorative details as well. Actually, I don't know how to post scans, so I now have to find out how to do that.

I just remembered that there is a photo of an obliquely INTERLACED band on my web site along with blatantly commercial book promo stuff. ( It is from a Bakhtiari kilim. You can see, though, how much this band looks like yours. Its front and back sides are identical, however, except for the loose yarn ends that emerge on the front.

Thanks for your interest, for hunting the details, and for sharing such great photos!

Marla Mallett

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