TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Other Technique for the Same Purpose
Author  :  Daniel Deschuyteneer mailto:%20daniel-d@skynet.be
Date  :  09-30-2001 on 07:27 a.m.
Dear all,

I bought this very nice complete double Khorjin in mint condition during the last Hali fair. Although it was labeled Shahsavan piece I am thinking it isn’t. I would prefer a Kordi – Lain area – attribution.

I haven’t yet a photo but it is very similar to the khorjin illustrated in Stanzer’s book – Kordi – plate 182 (reproduced here below) – although in mine the design is better spaced and the colors more glowing.

Many pieces from this area are erroneously labeled Shahsavan because they share somewhat similar designs and similar beautiful glowing pastel colors.

Though the motif is related, I don't think it has the same feeling as the Shahsevan pieces and the lack of any closure system is also in favor of a Kordi attribution. Most of Shasavan pieces have "loops into loops" or "slit and loops" closures.

According to Stanzer, pieces from this area are woven in "knotted weft-wrapping". Such pieces, according to the technique used are very stiff.

The handle of mine is floppy and the technique is "reverse" and "offset reverse soumak".

It’s interesting to notice that offset soumak has been used ONLY to draw the sharp diagonals. There are so many verticals in this pattern that vertically aligned wrapping is necessary to articulate these. To produce the same diagonal slant without offsetting would have required steps with two rows of wrapping. With single rows of non-offset wrapping, they would have been very shallow diagonals.

As John noticed it in an earlier thread, this suggest that offsetting has been used in several technique for the same purpose: drawing SMOOTH and sharp diagonals.


Complete double khorjin

Kordi – Lain area ?? – Last quarter 19th century

54 cm x 103 cm (each pouch 54 x 51)

Front: 4/2 reverse soumak and offset reverse soumak

Back: weft faced plain weave in red and blue bands of colors

Wool single – 46pi - selvage no special treatments.

Yarn spin: Z

Warp: light gray brown wool – 2 ply – 13 pi

Weft: red wool single – one pick

Wrapping yarns: 2 ply wool

Ends: hems turned twice to the back

Side joins: plait stitch with two ply wool of several colors

Colors: natural



Subject  :  Re:Other Technique for the Same Purpose
Author  :  Filiberto Boncompagni mailto:%20filibert@go.jo.com
Date  :  10-01-2001 on 06:23 a.m.
Dear Daniel and Marla,

Like Patrick, I also searched my - hum- small collection for offset knots but, besides the Jaf Kurd Khorjin, I found nothing - even my two Baluch balishts refused any help.

That is for the pile knotted technique - however I found an example of offset knotting in soumak on the Caucasian Saddlebag I presented ten Salons ago:


You can see it better in this direct scan:

It seems to me 2/1 “plain” and “offset soumak” mixed together.

Best regards,


Subject  :  Re:Other Technique for the Same Purpose
Author  :  Filiberto Boncompagni mailto:%20filibert@go.com.jo
Date  :  10-02-2001 on 07:53 a.m.
Dear all,

Hum, right, 4/2 soumak means the yarn wraps around four warps in the front and TWO on the back…Sorry Marla, I am a very bad student: this is a 4/2 plain soumak.

For a better understanding, here you can see the front of the bag - the yellow outlining marks the area of the above scan:

And here a bigger scan of the back:

…although in some spots it seems 2/1 soumak,for transition - see the yellow arrow, where the white diagonal starts.

The vertical elements in the center are what? 4/4?

Not to mention some diagonals (see blue arrow) that looks like reverse offset soumak? Or it is reciprocal brocading? Or may be not. Looks very complicated, doesn’t it?



Subject  :  Re:Other Technique for the Same Purpose
Author  :  Marla Mallett mailto:%20marlam@mindspring.com
Date  :  10-04-2001 on 01:29 p.m.
Filiberto, you could not have found a better piece to compare with Daniel’s. The two show precisely the SAME BASIC STRUCTURE, merely REVERSED.

These may be momentarily confusing for someone who doesn’t have the pieces in hand, since we are looking at the front of Daniel’s and the back of Filiberto’s. So let me sum up what’s happening in them. Filiberto’s piece is regular 4/2 soumak in design parts with lots of verticals, but the weaver switched to offset 4/2 soumak in areas with diagonals. Thus on the back, we see a mix of vertically aligned and offset yarn segments. Irregularities appear in some areas where she switched from one to the other.

The weaver of Daniel’s saddlebag simply used the back of the ordinary 4/2 soumak structure for the face. She used regular reverse soumak for most of the piece, but then offset yarn segments (reverse offset soumak) to make small diagonal pattern parts. On John Howe’s piece (on the “Bad Weaving?” thread), most of the piece is reverse offset soumak, with just very small transitional areas that are not offset.

Although both Daniel’s and Filiberto’s pieces incorporate slit-tapestry elements, both designs are now hybrids, with motifs so altered that they have become unique to their medium. It would be interesting to know if Daniel’s saddlebag motif appeared in any knotted-pile rugs of Khorasan.


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