Beduin Weaving Looms
Beduin looms are simple and made of easily found materials. The basic loom consists of two beams of metal or wood which rest against four tent stakes driven into the ground. The warp yarns which form the starting structure of the weave are wound continuously over the beams in a figure-eight. A stick holding string heddles completes the hardware of the loom itself. Heddles are loops of string which hold alternative sets of yarn in place, allowing the other set to be lifted and pushed down. This creates the shed, or opening, into which the crosswise yarn is inserted. This heddle rod rests on oil cans, concrete blocks, rocks, cushions, or even forked pieces of wood buried in the ground.
Some looms use two sets of beams. The warp yarns are would around one set, which is lashed to the outer, heavier set of beams. This makes for greater control of tension.
The length and width of the loom depend on the finished size of the piece.
A long tent panel may be thirty feet long by twenty inches wide. A group of pieces for matching bags or cushions may also be that long. On the other hand, narrow bands of decorative sashes may only be one or two inches wide with a three-foot warp. ( See Small Looms. )
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