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Posted on: October 10, 2016

Introducing Our New Loom

We’re so excited to announce that we have a brand new loom right in our showroom! Now you can see the incredible process of how our rugs are woven in person.

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Sized for a 2′ x 3′ carpet, our loom’s wooden structure can be assembled from a kit of parts. The four cylindrical sides of the loom lock into each other, and are held up by the structure’s legs. The final piece that brings it all together is the weaver’s bench.

Creating the Warp
Once the structure of the loom is assembled, it is time to create the foundation of the carpet- its warp. Typically made of cotton, each knot in the row is accounted for by the presence of two warp threads. After the proper number of the threads are spun side by side around the top and bottom of the loom, a wooden rod slides between every other thread to create two vertical planes. In order to avoid a misshapen rug, it is important to have equal tension between all of the warp threads.

Steps for Weaving

The first and last step in weaving a carpet is to use a wicker weave to create a narrow band of flat weave called the selvedge. This provides a firm, straight edge for the knotting to begin. From here, a row of knots is tied using the Senneh, or Persian, knot. This asymmetrical knot is tied encircling two adjacent warp threads. The color of each knot is revealed by a sheet of grid paper that represents the carpet’s design- each square of the grid is equivalent to one knot. When the row is complete, two shoots of weft are alternately passed through the vertical planes of the warp, locking the row of knots in place.

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Between shoots, the row is compressed with a heavy metal comb that pushes down against the row of knots. It is then combed out, and trimmed. A new row begins in the same way, and so on, until the masterpiece is complete.

Orley Shabahang sets itself apart by genuinely incorporating the human touch in every aspect of our carpet-making. Not only do we use completely organic materials and processes up until the carpet begins its life on the loom, but we also support this cottage industry of handwoven Persian carpets. To learn more about other steps in our production, visit our website.

Now you can stop by our New York showroom any time to see first-hand how our masterpieces are created with the power of the human hand!