"...a sign of a tradition without much history..."

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Posted by R. John Howe on July 27, 1999 at 18:29:02:

Dear folks -

Like Wendel, I find this phrase from Marla tantalizing. He has suggested that it deserves a thread of it own, and Marla is sometimes needlessly self-conscious of the discussions of structure that we repeatedly force on her. (We are too selfish about our learning.) But I am shameless. I want to know now.

I went back to Marla's book "Woven Stuctures" because I thought it likely that she had treated this subject there. A quick look-see, indicated that on page 29 (bottom) she provides the following paragraph.

"Problems resulting from poor weave balance may indicate that certain groups of weavers do not have lengthy histories of pile rug production. Such problems may suggest disruption in that production. One case in point: badly made kilim ends on knotted-pile rugs may exemplify a community's poorly refined weave tradition rather than shoddy craftsmanship by a single individual."

Applying this to the yellow ground rug that apparently has two shoots of wefts between knots and little "weft ease," this structure MAY indicate that the weaver was part of a weaving group with a shallow weaving history (other similar examples would need to be found).

That is, I think Marla is suggesting that the use of two wefts between sheds AND the low weft ease would likely have been discovered by a weaving group with a long tradition to result in pieces in which the weave was not "compact" enough and that this would have been corrected.

Fire when ready,

R. John Howe

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