Carpets have always been woven on looms. Different kinds of looms are employed in the Middle East, including the horizontal loom which is generally of nomadic origin

Horizontal looms consist only of a frame or simply of two beams secured to the ground to which horizontal beams are applied. They are generally of small sizes to be easily moved and are thus used to manufacture small carpets.

Horizontal loom

Horizontal loom


vertical looms

Vertical looms

There are different types of vertical looms. In some designs the carpet can be rolled up on an iron lower roller beam as the work progresses. Other types have fixed beams and the weaver sits on a bench which is raised as the work progresses up wards. There are also vertical looms with both upper and lower beams constructed as rollers, the so called roller looms.


Loom waving Carpet


Regardless of the type of loom used, the manufacturing process remains the same. The structure of a carpet always consists of warps and wefts that make up the carpet foundation. This is the base where knots are secured and cut to form the compact and velvety pile.


Warps are the parallel strings stretched from loom beam to loom beam upon which rows of knots are tied.

The warp and weft are aligned so they form a simple criss-cross pattern. Each weft thread crosses the warp threads by going over one, then under the next, and so on. The next weft thread goes under the warp threads that its neighbor went over, and vice versa. 
Then another raw of knots is tied and locked in place by other weft threads.

Warps and wefts


Wefts run across the width of the carpet, over and under the warp strings and between rows of knots. Wefts are placed to secure knots and consolidate the weave. To this purpose weavers use a specific metal comb to beat down the wefts and knots after each row is completed.

Weft strands generally have a smaller diameter than warps and can be white, natural colour or dyed. Wefts of tribal carpets are often natural brown wool. The easiest way to secure end warps is weaving weft strands on them to form a thick weave at both ends. This is the typical Kilim end finish, that means a flat weave from which the famous Kilim carpet derives. An alternative technique is passing numerous threads of weft on warps and then fix them with a chain stitch edge. In Modern Kilim carpets finish is folded to the back side of the carpet and wrapped with a strip of fabric. Such a technique is widely employed in Nepal, Tibet and India. Another technique consists in finishing the carpet with a multiple-ply yarn wrapped around end wefts, just as for side edge binding.