How Rugs Are Made: What Is A Loom?
As one of the leading rug retailers in the UK, it’s very easy for us at Rugs Direct to assume that everyone knows the ins-and-outs of rug manufacture. But actually, in a world of mass production, it seems very few folks really know how rugs are made. With that in mind, in today’s blog post we’d like to explain what a loom is and its role in the creation of modern and traditional rugs.
The loom: a definition
In a nutshell, a loom is a mechanical device or tool that is used to tightly knit threads together in order to create a rug or other fabric-based object. Looms can be found in both manual and automatic forms, both of which share similar core concepts. It wasn’t until looms were able to be produced on a large scale that mass production of rugs became a real possibility. Without looms, we wouldn’t be here at all! Having said that, there is still a place for hand-woven and tufted rugs, many of which are selected due to their personal touch.
How do looms work?
A loom mechanically weaves two threads together to form the final piece. To do this, it interlaces the two threads at 90-degree angles. The horizontal threads are known as the weft, and these are pulled through the vertical threads, which as known as the warp. Most looms include a small device called a shuttle which actually guides the threads during the interlacing process. During Victorian times, mechanised looms included a flying shuttle, which allowed the weft to interlace the warp faster than any human being could.
How looms create patterns
In order to produce the intricate designs that you see on many modern and traditional rugs today, most large-scale looms will use a series of wires known as heddles. These heddles will hold the warp threads in certain places (usually either forward or back) in order to create the specific pattern required for that rug. Likewise, different coloured threads can be used as the weft or warp in order to create certain areas of the design in the correct colours. Large mechanised looms can have many hundreds of threads being woven at any one time – it really is quite a sight to behold!
If this quick guide to how a loom works has inspired you to find a new rug, you can check out our full range online. Or you call one of our friendly team on 0845 838 8638 anytime.