A Rug Making Journey: Spinning Wool

A Rug Making Journey: Spinning Wool

Learn more about the making of rugs in ‘Colors of India a rug making journey’ produced by Samad: http://www.samad.com/colors-home

Wool Spinning:

Highly coveted handmade rugs abandon fast, efficient, noisy machines in favor of a simple and somewhat quieter device.

By modern standards, it is a rudimentary contraption, a reliable, uncomplicated companion, demanding skill and dexterity from the operator, who must strive to keep tension in the twist by pulling against the spindle and drawing out the carded wool in a high arcing motion.

Handspinning dates back thousands of years, although when and where the technique was developed has never been determined.

Handspun wool produces an uneven or nubby surface to the rug, the human factor inadvertently creating a yarn that is tighter in some places and looser in others.

Handspun wool rug

Accordingly the absorption of colored dyes is uneven; less color in the tighter places and more in loosely spun areas.
Hand spun wool produces an uneven or nubby surface to the rug, the human factor inadvertently creating a yarn that is tighter in some places and looser in others. Accordingly the absorption of colored dyes is uneven; less color in the tighter places and more in loosely spun areas.
Finally the yarn is separated from the spindles, and placed in bundles for weighing and dyeing.

Hand spinning produces less than 5 pounds of yarn per person, per day.

Because the spinning and dyeing processes are closely connected, it is perhaps at this early stage, that the desired characteristics of the finished carpet become a consideration.

That is to say, “choice” becomes a factor.

Our next post will feature the next step in the rug making process: Natural Dyes.
Preview: “To maintain the more traditional or homespun look often associated with village or tribal rugs, vegetable dyes, such as saffron, indigo, madder root and even tree bark, must be prepared. Once the only coloring method, it is both time-consuming and costly to locate and gather natural substances not always available in significant amounts.”

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