Re: Pairs of asmalyks

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Posted by Wendel Swan on April 04, 1999 at 13:51:34:

In Reply to: Re: Paired bag faces posted by Marla Mallett on April 03, 1999 at 10:57:17:

Dear Marla,

I was premature, it seems, in stating that asmalyks could not be woven sequentially, using the same warps, but it still seems highly unlikely to me that this has been anything approaching a regular practice among the Turkmen.

There are several kinds of rugs that are woven serially on the same warp (some small Chinese and Persian mats come to mind) and then cut and separated into individual pieces, but these do not have irregularly shaped ends.

If any asmalyks were woven sequentially on the same warps, I can see no reason why the direction of the design would change. The warps would have to be cut in order for the asmalyks to be used. Therefore, the pile would always run downward (when in use) and none would appear to have been woven "upside down" as we have, for example with pile khordjin, which remain intact.

If anyone discovers an asmalyk woven with the pile running "upward" we can then speculate as to how and why it was done.

My earlier post was prompted more by the concept of paired asmalyks being woven sequentially so that the pile ran in different directions than it was concerned with whether sequential asmalyks could be produced at all.

While we are considering the topic, can you give an estimate of the relative times involved in preparing the loom for weaving two single asmalyks as compared to the extra time consumed to place the temporary reinforcements necessary to weave two sequentially?

Also, aside from just being able to say that two asmalyks woven sequentially share the same original warp (hardly a feature that anyone would ever notice), what would be advantages of doing so and what would be the disadvantages? Further, have you (or any other readers) ever observed this practice in "tribal" or "village" weaving?



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