Cut Pile Project thoughts…Lop Sanpra Rug

“An Ancient Carpet in Urumchi” by Chris Walter

I’ve been thinking about getting back into some of the slower weaving that originally got me interested in fiber arts.  I have soooo many tapestry/rug looms it’s not even funny but I’m doing nothing with them currently other then using them for display in fiber exhibits.  The Urumchi rug has some distinct squares with a leaf in each one.  I’m rather thinking about charting the design and weaving a small sample.  I’m taking notes and thinking it thru…

points to consider…

-size = 2ft 4 inches per side of original

-article lists it as a possible saddle cover (which totally floats my boat:>).

-the author believes it’s 30 to 40 knots per inch but I’m unclear as to whether that per square inch or a flat inch.

-the author est. that the piece is symmetrically knotted (Turkish knot)

-strong colors…

blue/indigo         black              madder/red           yellowish green (faded)      natural beige

Sara Lamb’s excellent book, “Woven Treasures”, states that the symmetrical knot is used by tribal weavers for durable, daily use items.  That sounds rather like it would make sense if this original piece truly was woven to be a saddle cover/fur.  It’d definitely have seen hard use in that job.  The saddles of these peoples were amazing, treeless saddles which are now seeing a resurgence in the modern treeless saddle movement.  I know from personal experience that using a treeless saddle gives an amazing feeling of closeness to your horse.  I could literally feel my horse’s heartbeat in my thigh when riding him.  He became so eager for our rides with this type of saddle that he started running to the gate to greet me and would thrust his mouth into the bridle with an eagerness that he never expressed before.  In fact, when we got him he was extremely resistant to taking the bit.  Extremely.

Going through Sara Lamb’s instructions I found that in her charts each square on a chart is equal to 2 warp ends…

example given in the book is 22 knots in each row so 44 ends overall.  This has got to be important in back figuring the warp spacing/sett needed to do this project but I’m terrible at math.  My dh believes that if you had 36 knots per square inch you’d have 12 epi per inch?


1.  figure out the correct set

2. figure out the correct yarn and colors

3. chart the design

4. warp and start weaving!

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