Different tools are needed in construction of a handmade rug. Some tools, such as looms, are an absolute necessity for all weavers, and other tools, such as hooks, are used by some weaving groups. Sometimes, different rug weaving areas use slightly different versions of the same tools. Some common tools used in area rug weaving are vertical looms, horizontal looms, design plate, knife, scissors, spindle, hook and comb.

Vertical Loom

area rugs tools

Looms are an important part of making a handmade area rug because they act as a frame for the rug throughout the weaving process. Vertical looms are used to create workshop and village area rugs, and they are more difficult to assemble than the simplistic horizontal loom. There are three main versions of vertical loom: the Tabriz Loom, the Fixed Loom and the Roller Beam Loom. Each vertical loom looks like a frame, and it will be constructed with two horizontal bars and two side bars. Handmade rugs that have been woven on a vertical loom are more desirable because they feature designs and dimensions that are more exact than rugs that are made with any other weaving process.

Fixed Loom
A weaver who is utilizing a fixed loom will sit on an adjustable seat that can be raised to make it easier to reach each new row of knots.

Tabriz Loom
Also known as the Bunyan Loom, this vertical loom enables the user to continuously work without needing to move the rug as their work progresses.

Roller Beam Loom
This traditional village loom from Turkey is commonly used to make very large area rugs, and it can also accommodate coarse weaves.

Horizontal Loom

area rugs tools

Horizontal looms are the most simplistic loom available. These looms support the weaver by providing a frame for their rugs. Horizontal looms are the preferred option of nomadic weavers because they are so easily disassembled. The vast majority of handmade area rugs that are made on a horizontal loom will be small because it is very hard to weave a large rug without using a vertical loom.

A horizontal loom is constructed before each weaving process begins. The loom will be attached to the ground with nails or stakes, and the four wooden bars that form the frame will be placed according to the size of the project. In other words, if the rug is going to be skinny but long, the two parallel bars will be close together, but the top and bottom bars will be much farther apart. The warp strands will be attached to the bottom and top bars before the rest of the rug is woven. Due to space constraints, weavers typically sit on the area of the rug that has already been woven.

Design plate

area rugs tools

Design plates are utilized in all workshops, and many village weavers also work from these useful reference sheets. A design plate is printed on a square of paper that contains a colorful image that has often been created by a famous designer or artist. The weaver uses this paper to create the design on a rug.


area rugs tools

Weavers use a special pair of scissors to cut uneven and long pile after they have finished weaving a few rows of knots. These scissors are specifically created for this purpose, and standard scissors are not used.


area rugs tools

A hook can take the place of specialty scissors. Weavers also use this tool to separate warp strands when they are tying knots and to pull yarn out through the warp strands.


area rugs tools

Many weavers use knives to help them cut the yarn after they tie each knot. However, handmade rug artisans in some areas prefer to use a hook instead of a knife.


area rugs tools

Spindles are rods that are typically made of wood, and they are used by weavers to spin fiber into yarn. This highly useful item has been found at archaeological digs worldwide, and this makes it one of the original weaving tools.


area rugs tools

Special combs are utilized by weavers to secure their knots. This process is called beating the knots, and it takes place after a row of knots has been completed and a strand of wefts has been passed through the warps.

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