"Using sheer hands and a frame of wood to the craft."
History of Handloom:
Weaving is the oldest of the industrial arts, which dates back to 7000 BC. From these early beginnings, carpet weaving rose to its highest art form in India, Turkey, Iran, and China. The patterns, vibrant colors and number of knots per square inch produced beautiful handmade carpets. The early artisans showed amazing skills and ingenuity in designing, dying and producing these prized pieces of art.
The Indian tradition of producing colorful, intricately designed carpets spans centuries. India is known not only for producing beautiful, handmade carpets but also for the pride and respect its artisans have for carrying on the tradition. From generations-old antiques to newly milled products, demand for carpets from India persists today.
The Indian carpets are considered most technically skillful classical craft. The carpet weavers throughout the history of India have grown artistically and are renowned for their exquisite designs, elegance, attractive colors and workmanship.
Handloom and The Process: The carpet weaver has gradually grown as an artist, a creator who could weave poetry in to his designs and every knot he tied, giving a touch of aesthetic beauty to his creations.
The loom gives shape to the carpet-weaver's creative expressions. It consists of a wooden structure on which carpets are woven on. During weaving different operations are carried out, such as tensioning of warp, knotting, cutting and beating.
Carpet weaving is the process of interlacement of 'Warp' and 'Weft' in a fabric according to the freezed design/pattern. Here warp means longitudinal threads that run parallel to vertical channel of the loom, whereas, weft means transverse threads that run across the fabric.
One of the most commonly used looms in India is the roller-beam loom. The simplest of these looms has two horizontal wooden beams between which the wrap threads are stretched, the one beam is in front of the weaver, and the other is behind the first. As the knotting proceeds, the carpet is rolled to the back of the loom. The weaver begins by weaving a selvedge and several shots of weft are passed to form a narrow band to secure the knots at the end of the carpet.
The Indian carpet weaver uses the asymmetrical or Persian knot which is tied with a strand of Yarn around two adjacent warp threads, leaving some threads free at either side for the lateral selvedges. Each knot is separated from its neighbor by a loop that is cut after the next shot of weft. This knot is also called the 'two-handed knot' as it can be executed both from right to left and from left to right. The process is more widespread as it is more rapid.
Washing of a carpet is done to bring sheen and luster, therefore, it is as important as coloring, designing and weaving. This is the final stage of carpet weaving and hence requires a lot of careful handling.
After washing, the carpet is dried and then it is sent for clipping.
The final appearance of a carpet comes after clipping and chemical finishing. The art of clipping reflects on the emboss like finish in the final carpet.
Finishing is a meticulous process which requires skillful craftsmanship and is done piece by piece in hand knotted carpets.