TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Zili brocade
Author  :  R. John Howe
Date  :  09-27-2000 on 10:57 p.m.
Dear folks -

<img src="http://www.turkotek.com/salon_00050/W15.jpg" border="0">

This is the third image in Part 2 of the introductory photo essay. It is a piece that Wendel has described as having been done in a "zili brocade." I have seen this piece a number of times and have passed by this term noting its distinctiveness but never really inquiring into what it referred to specifically.

Then last week Wendel had it at the TM again and was comparing it to several other pieces with the same design but done in different weaves and I realized that I didn't really know how a "zili brocade" differs from, say, a "sumak" weave, so I asked.

In the discussion that ensued it became clear to me that the descriptions and distinctions being offered were still not entirely clear to me, so I'm putting this piece up here mostly to ask the question of what a zili brocade is and how it differs from sumak.

I'll even take the first pass at a response.

My understanding of sumak weave is that it is usually a matter of passing the weft over say four warps and then of bringing back and under two warps, then over four more warps and back under two and so one. The number of warps in the advance can vary as can the number in the retreat underneath but the sumac weave is essentially a kind of wrapping of various numbers of warps by the patterning wefts.

Now to my current picture of zili brocade. It is that it procedes by passing over three warps and then continues under (but not back under) one warp, then over three more warps and then under one warp to either a color change or to the side of the piece. When a weft reaches a side it is returned in the same way: over three and under one. When a weft reaches a place where a color change is intended it also returns but I'm not sure exactly on what initial basis. There do not seem to be slits in zili brocade and so the returning wefts must interlock in some way at the points of color change but I'm not sure how exactly this is accomplished.

Let me just say that for me at the moment the central distinction between zili brocade and sumak seems to me to be that the zili brocade seems normally to move over three warps and then then continues under the next one without any retreat, while in sumak such a retreat is an integral part of each over four and back under two sequence.

As I have said before recently, my rug books are currently packed up until the end of November and so I can't do the logical thing which would be to look up this distinction in Marla Mallett's book. Marla has posted at least once in this salon so perhaps she and others (Daniel, will have no doubt examined this distinction) will help us with a proper description of what zili brocade is and how it differs from other flatweaves such as sumak.


R. John Howe

Subject  :  RE:
Author  :  R. John Howe
Date  :  09-28-2000 on 05:04 a.m.
Dear folks - I should have mentioned one other thing about zili brocade in the post above: it is readily recognizable and distinguishable from other flatweaves like sumak since it has a finely and vertically ribbed appearance somewhat less definite than a quite fine cordoroy but still quite distinctive when seen. It would also be useful to know how this ribbing occurs since it would seem to require the vertically lining up in each row of weft of the instances in which the weft goes under one warp. Regards, R. John Howe

Subject  :  RE: Zili
Author  :  +Kenneth Thompson+
Date  :  09-28-2000 on 10:40 a.m.
John-- I don't have my copy of Marla Mallett's book handy right now either, but I am pretty certain that Zili is merely another form of overlay/underlay brocade. Ground wefts hold the whole thing together. If you pass the brocade wool over and under the same pattern of warp groups and carry the design upwards consistently, you get that piping effect. I hope Marla Mallett is following this salon, so that she can give the definitive answer. Best regards, Ken Thompson

Subject  :  RE:
Author  :  Vincent Keers
Date  :  09-28-2000 on 12:52 p.m.
Dear John, I,ve seen Soumaks without any wefts. The wefts all contribute to the design. I've seen Soumack with one weft. 45 degrees warps. I've never seen one with 2 wefts. But this doesn't proof it has never been made. Sileh, Verneh has a structure depending on the balans in the weave. So allways 2 wefts. Wich allows vertical stripes because the weaver has more freedom (The technic allready provides a basic structure) In Sileh, Verneh/Cicim you could find large, open spaces of balanced plainweave if the warps have the same colour as the wefts, or some with weft-faced design. The basic strutural differences are probibly because the use of the Soumak was different than the use of sileh or verneh. Last mentioned had to be more floppy, lightweight. That's all I know, untill I encounter Soumak, Verneh, Sileh, Cicim wich all look a like. It will not take long, than the problem is solved. Best regards, Vincent Keers PS I my "Strange Sofreh" in the Show and Tell posting ,an example of weft substitution, only the wefts aren't substituted by another, they are "extra" white-coloured design wefts implemented in the border design that's go´ng on, undisturbed, at both sides of the borderdesign. Left and right, from the border, the weft count is the same over the same distance. The total length of the Sofreh is 2 meters, and it's square. Wich, I think, is out of the ordinary.

Subject  :  RE:Zili overlay brocading
Author  :  Wendel+Swan
Date  :  09-28-2000 on 01:02 p.m.
Dear Ken and all, Marla uses the term "zili overlay brocade" to describe the technique and has a drawing of the structure and pictures of examples at something like image 8.17 - 8.19 (or thereabouts) of her book. Perhaps she can describe how the yarns wrap and turn back when the color changes. The illustration doesn't show that. The yarns "come back" through exactly the same course as they "go out," thus creating the distinctive ribbed appearance. In a slit tapestry kilim, I believe that the normal return of a yarn would be to pass under a warp that had been just been passed over. In zili, the yarns don't do that. They return, and excuse my terminology, through the same course. Following is an example of a zili overlay brocaded khordjin from the Caucasus, probably Karabagh. The bridge uses a different technique that I believe is called "chii" or something like that by Wertime and Wright. The white is cotton. Wendel

Subject  :  RE:
Author  :  Vincent Keers
Date  :  09-28-2000 on 01:49 p.m.
Dear Wendel, I think it's because of the 2 "hidden" wefts. They use the wefts as a sort of "interlocking" item. That's why all silehs and vernehs have two wefts. If they had one, the designweft would easaly pull out the basic weft. Best regards.

Subject  :  RE: Zili image
Author  :  Wendel Swan
Date  :  09-28-2000 on 04:45 p.m.
Dear all, My immediate apology goes to Marla Mallett. In a previous post I said that her illustration 8.17 did not show the return as color changes when, in fact, it does. This is an instance of looking at something and not seeing what is there to be seen. In my own defense, her black and white drawing makes it a little more difficult to see the return than does the image posted previously. When I looked at Marla's drawing more carefully, I saw what was there to be seen. Wendel

Subject  :  RE:
Author  :  Daniel Deschuyteneer
Date  :  09-28-2000 on 04:46 p.m.
Daniel Deschuyteneer Dear Vincent and you all, Your drawing of Zili overlay brocading is correct. It's nevertheless uncorrect to say that there are always two wefts in such fabrics. There are Zili overlay brocading woven with only one weft between the patterning yarns and other one with more than two wefts. It would be interesting to know how many wefts there are in Wendel's first piece. The design is flatter and coarser than in the Caucasus (Karabagh) zili overlay brocaded khordjin he shows in his last posting. According to Marla Mallett, Woven Structure page 91, this may suggest an Eastern Anatolian origin if there are three ground wefts between rows of patterning yarns. Thanks, Daniel

Subject  :  RE:
Author  :  Deschuyteneer Daniel
Date  :  09-28-2000 on 04:50 p.m.
Dear Wendell, Can you post a direct scan from the front and the back of your zili overlay brocading? Thanks, Daniel

Subject  :  RE:
Author  :  Vincent+Keers
Date  :  09-29-2000 on 06:13 a.m.
Dear Daniel, I learned from you that Zilehs with one, two, three wefts excist. But in making the genaral picture clear: I wanted too have a lead into making a differentiation between Zileh versus Soumack. And I'm pretty sure that if I put up the statement: "Soumack has one or none wefts" someone will find a Soumack with two wefts. I think it's essential to stick with the basic form inwich a certain item is most likely to be encounterd. Without "feeling" the item in this discussion, it's hard. In the 80'ties you could tell blindfolded if it was Sileh or Soumack. It's possible, the Sileh under discussion, is technically a Soumack. -Soumack is weft wrapping. (Making the structure very tight, hardwearing) If all the wefts are cut at the back, you'ld see a symmetric knotted rug. -Sileh is floating wefts and extra weft wrapping. (Making the structure softer, and the material used, feels softer, because it's original intendet use needed softnes.) Pfffjuh, hope someone can translate this. Best regards,Vincent

Subject  :  RE: Direct scans of zili
Author  :  Wendel+Swan
Date  :  09-29-2000 on 02:46 p.m.
Dear Daniel and all, Daniel asked for direct scans of the fronts and backs of the two zili weavings that I posted, so I will do so. While both are zili, I was struck by how different they feel from one another as I scanned them. The first is the Karabagh khordjin: The second is the piece I presented in the potpourri at the TM and what may be Anatolian. Any thoughts on its specific origin would be welcome. I lightened the color on the Anatolian (?) panel so as to show its construction. In fact, it is much darker than the Karabagh khordjin. Best, Wendel

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