Demystifying the Loom

Activity Center, Crafts, Handlooms, Art

Demystifying the Loom

Sadr, Ayeshe

The man sat working on his loom. There was a beautiful rhythm in the way he seemed to become a part of the machine, both replying to each others slightest movement. A tap of his foot lifted two shafts upwards, a tug on a cord & the shuttle ran with the pick, gliding through the warp threads. It looked like magic seeing someone work on the loom. The number of threads! The process through which these threads transform into fabric is a complicated process which lifts the weaver from a mere craftsman to a master creator. The working of the loom completely intimidated me, with too many things moving at once for me to comprehend. To overcome my fear of the loom & come a step closer to being able to weave; I joined a basic weaving course at the Weavers Service Centre, Bharat Nagar, New Delhi. The loom is surprisingly simple in its design. It comprises:
  • Warp - the longitudinal threads running through the loom
  • Weft - threads running horizontally from one side of the cloth to another between the warp threads. A single thread of the warp and weft is known as an 'end' & 'pick' respectively.
  • Heald - thin long wire or cord with an eye at the centre and two loops at either ends. A warp thread passes through the eye of the heald to control its movement during w...
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