THE materials used in the manufacture of rugs cover a wide range, and are indigenous to the place where the weavers are located. Sheep’s wool, camel’s hair, mohair from the Angora goat, hair from the yak and from the Thibetan goat, silk, cotton, linen, hemp, flax, and jute are all used. In the Spring the raw wool is generally taken to the nearest market, where it is cleaned, washed, and spun. The cleansing process is very necessary, as it affects in an important degree the quality of the material. The wool is usually washed in running water by the men, and then sorted and cleansed a second time.
Persia, Turkey, and India all produce wool, the two former countries in larger quantities than India, but some of the very finest wool comes from that part of India known as Kashmir. The celebrated Turfani wool comes from Chinese Thibet. It is very choice, and beautiful fabrics are woven from it.
The pashim is the soft downy wool growing next the body of the goat. In color it is white, dark gray, or drab ; and of this many of the finest India rugs are woven. Large-tailed sheep are common in Kabul, Peshawar, and other districts ; these furnish wool from which many a rug is woven. It is possible that the very sheep watched over by the shepherds of Judea the night of our Saviour’s birth were reared partly for their wool, with a view to rug-weaving..
The camel is useful not only as a beast of burden ; its hair is woven into fabrics both fine and durable, chief of which are rugs, beautiful, much desired, and costly; the younger the animal the more is its hair esteemed. The natural colors harmonize readily with the furnishings in most rooms, and the soft texture of the best ones is attractive.
The process of carding is accomplished by means of a block with vertical pins in even rows close together. The wool is drawn through these many times, and then spun into yarn.
( Originally Published Late 1900’s )