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Evolution of The Loom

From the most basic designs to sophisticated machinery, the venerable loom is at the heart of rug making and is a key invention that heralded each of the eras of human technical advances, bringing people together.

Wooden Handloom for production of rugs

Take. At the Handloom and Crafts Museum in Delhi

While it may look a bit intimidating, the loom is a rather simple construction, at its core. An interlocking structure of moving wooden beam frames is strung tightly together by yarn (warp) to create the rug foundation while a second yarn (weft) is passed through perpendicularly to hold the rug together. The pile yarn would then be woven into the rug base to create the visual patterns and texture of hand-woven carpets.

Wooden Handloom for production of rugs

Another Look the Classic Loom. At the Handloom and Crafts Museum in Delhi

The process of weaving is traced back to the Neolithic age when its invention helped herald the agricultural revolution by both utilizing the newly mastered control over crops and techniques of extracting yarn from wool, and by helping make a home. Regular settlements and the nomads could use comfortable and beautiful rugs on their floors and walls, warming their abodes both literally and figuratively. Many rituals evolved to include rugs in them ever since.

A Modern Simple Loom at Our Rug Facility in Jaipur

For all these millennia and all this prehistoric art, the basic loin loom was utilized, until later advances in the Middle Ages. The weavers used a very simple construction and their own body tension needed to make a rug for a perfect purpose. Later evolutions of the loom included stationary, heavier looms where separate heddles could be lifted to create complex designs, administered by a second weaver if the rug is too big. In 1773, a British weaver John Kay invented the flying shuttle, which could be flung across and around the loom, eliminating the need for the second person.

By twentieth century the looms became fully mechanized and powered electrically. This final stage has dramatically reduced the labor and increased production. That being said, the automated looms will of course never achieve the artistry, attention, and skill of experienced master weaver hands.

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