Hi, I'm Virag here on Weavolution.  I am fascinated by Central Asian and Anatolian weaving and am currently working on learning forms that would have been used to decorate yurtas.  I'm working on cut pile weaving on a Mirrix tapestry loom although I have a larger tapestry loom I hope to press into service after some repairs.  I'm also facinated by the Central Asian version of the ground loom and am currently studying techniques to make terme (yurt bands).  My next yurt band foray will probably be the pile/pileless bands.  I'm very interested in how the structure is made.  Currently I'm weaving a jajim using warp substitution method with Bolivan Warmi shared over in the backstrap forum.  I'm also interested in learning to weave kilims and the soumak technique.  I'm attaching a pic of my first cut pile project.  I was able to take a short class on the technique over the summer and have picked up an informative video on the subject recently as well.  I wish there were folks around me that did this type of weaving as's so fun!

cut pile beginning

Jajim inspired by traditional Uzbek pieces


I'd Love advice:>.


Posted on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 02:31

Phew! So happy to see cut pile being done on a small loom. I am in the process of ordering a book on the subject from Sara after seeing her ruglet on the Projects page. Whether I will be able to find yarn suitable for it over this way is another story.

Nice photo of the jajim.....looking forward to seeing more progress on that tomorrow (wink!)

Posted on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 02:40

Thanks, I'll make sure to post the progress though it's been a bit disappointing.  I'm going faster but made a series of mistakes in the patterns that really shows up.  Some kind soul wandered by yesterday and pointed out that my real yurt band has many, many mistakes in it so it's ok:>. 

The mirrix loom seems to work very well so far.  I'd like to warp it a bit more closely next time though to get more knots per inch.  I seem to be focusing on the weaving techniques that require lots and lots of concentration:>.  I think you should be able to use your own handspun with no problems to be honest.  I remember seeing a discussion over on Ravelry I *think* about spinning for cut pile a while back.  If you spin a two ply wool I think you'll be happy enough.  I'm using sock yarn in the one on my projects page.:>.

Posted on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 02:57

Both the mirrix tapestry loom and my big tapestry loom have shedding devices.  The ormek looms (spelling?) which are the ground looms in Central Asia are set up just like a backstrap loom in regards to sheds although there is ofter something to hold up the heddle bar like a tripod with a hook.  The finer the epi of the warp the greater the detail of the piece you can create.  The video I got (it's in the resources thread) has the beginner project at 16 epi while professionally made rugs have the most amazing knot counts in the hundreds of knots per inch. 

Thinking about it...I know that I want a very strong warp as it's going to take a lot of abuse.  You want something that won't stretch out under pressure.   I purchased linen recently to use with wool weft.  Linen seems less prone to stretch out I'm thinking.  I'm not sure what to tell you on the figure eight.  All the looms I've tried for this were using the type of warp where you make a "C" around a bar----wrap around the bar then go around the loom the back around the bar from the bottom the back up the way you came then back to the bar, etc.  Seems like after that I made string heddles and picked my cross one warp at a time.  I'm sure there's a better way.

Posted on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 03:40

Wonderful that you started this new group!  I'm away from home for another week, but will be back next week and able to join in the discussion. 

:) thanks for the invitation, and the heads up:



Posted on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 08:04

hi Virag, Love your new project! You will make so many converts to Asian weaving. I love the rich colours and the way the fabrics invite you to touch them.

I have a small Persian carpet, made from wool not silk, and not perfectly made either, but thats what attracted me to it in the first place. I have it hidden away because I have cats, but  I should get it out again and enjoy it, and find out where it came from. I didn't take much notice when I bought it - I just fell in love with it. I've always wanted to try making a small saddle bag. Perhaps this group is what I need to get me motivated.

Posted on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 11:28

Glad to have you:>.  I've been looking at the saddlebags over the past few months as well.  I'm really torn on which technique to use----knotted or flatweave.  One of the things that's got me stuck is trying to learn more about the different styles of bags and weaving and the traditions that go into making them.  I'm really fascinated by that.   The Steppe peoples have so many different types of storage bags with such lively decoration that I could be distracted for a long, long time researching it:>:>:>

Posted on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 14:36

I just recently came across it and it's awesome.  Thank you for bring it up.  Putting it over on the resources thread.  I wish I could have 15 minutes of his time:>.

Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 06:24

I just joined this group.

I took a workshop on Oriental carpet weaving from a merchant/restorer in New York, but it was too expensive to continue, so I decided to try Navajo weaving to burn up the yarn from my compulsive spinning habit, as there are many inexpensive books on the subject.

There was a metal comb we got to use, and the price of the workshop included a Beka frame loom. Is it cheating horribly to shave the pile with electric clippers?

I see from reading these posts that there are affordable books, and I will be looking for them!

Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 07:11

I have heard of carpet makers using sheep shears to clip pile, so I see nothing wrong with using electric hair clippers. That way you can give it an even trim! 10/10 for originality, hehe! That is how they sculpt hand-made Chinese rugs and carpets.

Frame looms are great little looms to weave on - you can do almost anything you want on them and they are good for experimenting and sampling. Franco uses a picture frame to weave on Navajo style, and I intend using my copper loom the same way. At the moment I am using my Knitters Loom to do tapestry weaving on, with sari silks, so whatever goes............... and works.

Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 15:49

 Can you tell me what made it too expensive to continue?

I think of these traditional weave structures as the gateway drugs of weaving, since they can be accomplished with inexpensive, handmade or simple equipment, tools and yarns and in very little space.


Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 20:36

The mandatory introductory workshop was either $125 or $150 and the meetups (I went to one) after that are $25. I can't manage that.

Traditional weaving is, as you say, very inexpensive to actually do! I noticed that the soumak is very much like the Navajo rug, and I'm not good with colors; there is a Navajo style called Two Grey Hills which uses only natural sheep colors, which is what I like to spin anyway. Also I can't help but feel a sense of waste when I cut the pile.

Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 20:50

Ah.  So it was not the weaving that was expensive, but the continued meetups: that I understand.

Waste in knotted pile;  I know what you mean, and it's even nuttier to spin the yarn for pile, and then cut it up into 1" lengths *and* throw some away :).  I'm much better at tying knots than I was at first, though, and waste very little. I developed a few non-tradtional tricks that help eliminate cutting and throwing away as much yarn. 

Soumak and plain weave (like Navajo and Kilim) do waste less. 

Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 21:16

Could you share the name of this merchant/restorer? We're headed to NYC in a short while and I might be interested in visiting.

And good instruction in something like knotted pile requires an experienced instructor -  that will cost more than just being free.

Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 21:28


I use a continuous yarn, and cut each knot as it is tied, resulting in a 1" length.  No loops. Easy yarn management.

I did see a woman weaving pile in the Tibetan style once, and she made loops over a rod, and then cut them once the row was finished.  Is this similar to what you did?

Posted on Sun, 12/13/2009 - 20:39

Hayko, at

The introductory lesson is on Thursdays and the meetups are on Wednesdays, 6 or so in the evening. He has a workshop in the back where his restorers work.

Do visit, he's a nice man and his shop is fascinating! It's just that $25 a week is too much for me on my fixed income.

Posted on Sun, 12/13/2009 - 20:46

It's exactly similar to what we did. He even explained to us about the rod. We just sort of guesstimated it with a thumbnail. And I suppose once you got good at the knots, you could cut as you worked. As we were just learning, we didn't worry about cutting the pile, he did it with the clippers when we were finished.

Posted on Mon, 01/18/2010 - 02:49

Hi! I just joined this group.  I repair Oriental carpets in a wonderful rug shop, so get to work around many beautiful carpets.  I'm trying to learn the characteristics and designs of the various types of carpets and boy is it confusing.  I'm about to try making a small pile carpet.  We'll see.

Posted on Mon, 01/18/2010 - 05:31

hi Leslie, and welcome! what a great job you have! All that eye candy! I hope your bosses are helpful and knowledgeable - what sort of rugs do you see the most of? I'm turning green here so its just as well you cannot see my face, lol!

I've just purchased the Marla Mallet book called Woven Structures so I can learn more about how the rugs are made, the different techniques used etc. The only way I will ever be able to own one of those lovely rugs is if I weave it myself. How wonderful to have the "live" samples in front of you so you can do your own textile analysis!

I'm in Australia, which is why I'm around and no-one else much is - they are all asleep, but its 4 pm here in Adelaide.

Catch you again!

Posted on Tue, 01/19/2010 - 04:11

Hi Caroline,

Australia hmmm?  I've always wanted to go, but it's a long way from the US.  I'm still learning about rugs.  It's all very complicated and convoluted.  I went to R. John Howe's blog (Virag Post #10).  It's fascinating and well worth it.  A wonderful resource.  I read the Wendell Swann Rugs 101 lecture.  I want all those books!

Anyway it is wonderful to work in the shop, the boss is good.  It's a very close knit group/team and we work very well together. Right now I'm reinforcing the ends of a rug and there is next to do a rug that's been chewed by a dog.  So the work is alway varied.  And I also get to work on the floor selling rugs.  So there is never a dull moment. 

Talk to you again.

Posted on Mon, 01/25/2010 - 19:15

Welcome:>.  What a cool job!  Can you tell us a bit about how the process of repairing them works?  I'm also trying to learn the different types and styles right now and find it really confusing.  I think I need an Oriental carpet and flatweaves for Dummies book right now:>:>:>.

Posted on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 03:18

Yeah, I think an Oriental carpet and flatweaves for Dummies is a great idea. 

What I do:  well I repair oriental carperts.  There are differents types of repair.  Often the selvedges are coming off, that is the binding core, so that has to be reinforced by reattaching it to the main body of the rug.  Then the binding itself often has to be rewrapped.   The fringe ends are sometimes really a mess; so there are different things to do. I can put new warp threads to replace the ones that have disappeared (chewed off? vacuumed off?); I can take out some rows of knots (to the end of the damage) and then put in a twist line (twining) to secure the end, reinforce that with a sort of whip stitch. Other repair includes replacing knots.  And right now I'm repairing a rug that has several holes in the body of the rug where the dog CHEWED it.  So I have to redo the warp and weft in those places, then reknot the design.  One of the things I love to do is match the colors  (or try to) and redoing the design is a real challenge, but that is really the most interesting thing I do.

Posted on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 06:47

Oh. I was wondering if you knew Hayko. He has a meetup group in his NYC showroom, and a gang of restorers working like magic elves in the back!