Before we start I’d like to say something about what the Persian rug actually is. There are two main types of rugs, there’s the gilim and there’s the (what we in Persian call) ghaali/ farsh. The difference between these two is that the gilim is a woven rug, and the ghaali/ farsh is a knotted rug. The rugs I was talking about last time (the difference between Fars and Tabriz style) was about the knotted ghaali/ farsh.
So last time I mentioned the crossing of the warp and the difference in setup between the Fars style and the Tabriz style. Now I’m going to show you what you need to do when you’ve finished the two rows of ‘chain’.
You can see the chain is a bit wonky, this will be corrected during the beating. A Tabriz style rug has a gauge that is measured in squares of 7cm. A finer rug will have a higher row count (for reference: the standard rugs vary between 20 and 35 knots, the higher the row count, the finer the detail in the carpet).
For a ‘tableau rug'(it’s not meant to be walked on, just for decorative purposes) like the one I’m working on right now, a row count of 50×50 is the set standard. There are silk tapestry rugs that have row counts so high it will make your head spin, but let’s move on.
Here’s an image of what this actually means. There are 50 knots (2 warp threads per knot) in 7cm(horizontal). This means that there should be 50 layers of knots + heavy weight weft + lightweight weft = 7cm (vertical).
The job of the heavyweight weft is to keep the structure of the crossed warp.
I added this picture just to show how the warp threads are crossed. This is not the way one would normally weave!
Like I’ve already mentioned in the previous post, the Tabriz style loom only has one cross beam, so it’s not possible to alternate the cross. So we use a very lightweight weft instead, and allow this weft to go around all the warp threads loosely.
This lightweight weft should be very thin, compared to the warp. Unlike the heavyweight weft, this layer should be practically invisible.
Where passing the heavyweight weft is a very quick and easy job, the passing of the lightweight warp is some serious work. The lightweight weft is passed above the cross and is worked slowly down by using the beater in a very gentle fashion. If this weft becomes too tight, it will pull the warp together and the cross will disappear (which means you can’t work until you’ve fixed this problem).
This picture shows how the thin weft is passed and it shows the crossed warp (the cross is right underneath the weft)
It’s important to repeat this step at between 8-15 times for a sturdy layer. It should like this:
You can see I’ve already added a few knots. This is turing out to be a very picture heavy post, so I’ll post about the knots next time! 🙂