Home > Rug, Kelim, Soumak, Textile Post Archive >Soumak terminology
Author:Michael Wendorf Thu, Feb 20th, 2003 04:27:05 PM
Topic: Soumak terminology

Dear Jack: In reading WAMRI's soumak exhibition I noted your comments that: "Soumak technique, like that used to make a kelim, produces a patterned weaving with a flat surface of discontinuous horizontal threads known as weft. The variously colored weft threads are wrapped around the warp threads, the primary structural component ... there is a supplementary weft thread which, along with the pattern weft, provides the second component necessary to create a structurally sound woven object ... There are, however, some later groups of soumaks which lack structural wefts and the added strength they provide." I have a few questions. First, are the "later groups of soumaks which lack structural wefts" you refer to the Kurdish weftless soumaks that you and I previously discussed on Turkotek or something else? Second, is what you are calling the "pattern weft" what has also been called the "wrapping weft"? Third, is what you call the "structural weft" or "supplementary weft thread" what has also been called the ground weft, i.e., the weft that interlaces the warps? I understand your terminology consistent with the second and third questions above. Do I also understand from your notes that in terms of weaving a soumak the weaver first lays in the pattern or wrapping weft and then lays in the supplementary or structural/ground weft thread? Thank you, Michael

Author: jc
email: jack@rugkazbah.com
Fri, Feb 21st, 2003 02:57:29 PM

IN READING WAMRI'S SOUMAK EXHIBITION I NOTED YOUR COMMENTS THAT: "SOUMAK TECHNIQUE, LIKE THAT USED TO MAKE A KELIM, PRODUCES A PATTERNED WEAVING WITH A FLAT SURFACE OF DISCONTINUOUS HORIZONTAL THREADS KNOWN AS WEFT. THE VARIOUSLY COLORED WEFT THREADS ARE WRAPPED AROUND THE WARP THREADS, THE PRIMARY STRUCTURAL COMPONENT ... THERE IS A SUPPLEMENTARY WEFT THREAD WHICH, ALONG WITH THE PATTERN WEFT, PROVIDES THE SECOND COMPONENT NECESSARY TO CREATE A STRUCTURALLY SOUND WOVEN OBJECT ... THERE ARE, HOWEVER, SOME LATER GROUPS OF SOUMAKS WHICH LACK STRUCTURAL WEFTS AND THE ADDED STRENGTH THEY PROVIDE." SECOND, IS WHAT YOU ARE CALLING THE "PATTERN WEFT" WHAT HAS ALSO BEEN CALLED THE "WRAPPING WEFT"?
Yes but pattern weft is far more descriptive as it is the one that delineates the pattern. True it is wrapped and the structural is not but pattern weft is my preferred terms.
THIRD, IS WHAT YOU CALL THE "STRUCTURAL WEFT" OR "SUPPLEMENTARY WEFT THREAD" WHAT HAS ALSO BEEN CALLED THE GROUND WEFT, I.E., THE WEFT THAT INTERLACES THE WARPS?
Yes iot is but again structural weft is the more descriptive terms as that is what it does, provide the structure, as it passes from selvedge to selvedge.
I UNDERSTAND YOUR TERMINOLOGY CONSISTENT WITH THE SECOND AND THIRD QUESTIONS ABOVE.
"scuse me, then why ask?
DO I ALSO UNDERSTAND FROM YOUR NOTES THAT IN TERMS OF WEAVING A SOUMAK THE WEAVER FIRST LAYS IN THE PATTERN OR WRAPPING WEFT AND THEN LAYS IN THE SUPPLEMENTARY OR STRUCTURAL/GROUND WEFT THREAD?
Do you understand the most elemental points of weaving? Seems not. The weaver does a line of one and then the other. Which is "first" is "moot".

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