Types of Looms

  • Fixed vs. Adjustable Frames
    The basic component of every loom is the frame that holds the warp strand ties. Fixed looms are usually made with a rectangular frame that has set dimensions. The fixed looms restrict the size of the rug, as the rugs have to be smaller than the inside of the loom’s frame. Popular fixed loom styles include the horizontal loom and the village loom.

Adjustable frames have movable beams that can expand or contract depending on the dimensions of the rug. Usually, adjustable looms have one or two movable horizontal beams and fixed vertical beams. Popular adjustable loom styles are the Tabriz loom and the Roller loom.

  • The Horizontal (Nomadic) Loom
    Horizontal looms were invented thousands of years ago, and they are known for their simple construction and design. The design of the horizontal loom features four wooden beams that are secured by pegs driven into the ground. Because the rugs are woven horizontally, the weavers must go back and forth from one side of the rug to the other when creating the pattern. This weaving technique becomes difficult if the rug is too wide.

Less skilled weavers who work on this equipment often have designs that vary slightly in size or are not evenly spaced. As implied by the name, Nomadic looms were originally used by Nomadic tribes. They are easy to assemble and smaller than other styles, which was beneficial for the traveling lifestyle of Nomads.

  • The Village Loom
    Unlike the Nomadic looms, Village looms have two vertical beams that are staked into the ground. They have two horizontal beams that are fastened at the top and bottom of the vertical beams to make the dimensions for the loom.

The Village loom’s vertical design provides the weavers with easy access to any point in the rug, and as a result, the rugs produced can be much wider than Nomadic rugs. However, the Village loom’s fixed beams still restrict the overall size of the rug.

  • The Tabriz Loom
    This loom style features horizontal beams that are adjustable, meaning that the rug length can be altered. This style was developed to meet the needs for larger urban workshops, and it features a device that constantly moves the completed weaving to the back of the loom. This allows the weaver to sit in the same spot the entire time as he or she makes the rug.