Egypt: Weaving implements and methods were very simple, and the linen was very fine. In the machine age one is apt to forget what dexterity can achieve under “primitive” conditions.
Model of weavers shop. 2000 bc Horizontal Loom, and warping pegs.
Egyptian Weaving in 2000 B.C.
Author(s): Charlotte R. Clark
Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New Series, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Summer, 1944), pp. 24-29
Published by: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Roman Horizontal Loom – John Peter Wild
The geographical origin of the postulated Roman horizontal loom is a matter of debate. It is compared to the looms used in China in the Han period. The complex silk fabrics were woven in China many centuries before the Roman damsks appeared, the possibility of the west word movement of technology along the silk road is an attractive narrative.
Roman Damask – silk thread was used. Introduction of heddles and more complex weave structures
Tukolor Loom – Ron Dilley
Tukolor weavers now live and work in or around the country’s
modern capital city, of Dakar, Senegal, West Africa. Weavers can be seen plying their
craft in the shadows of modern high-rise office blocks on looms which are
simple and crude constructions; and such a juxtaposition of traditional tech-
nology and modern industrial development appears bizarre.
The Manjaka weavers from Guinea Bissau and the southern part of Senegal have, from some time after the mid-fifteenth century, come under Portuguese influence, more so than any other weavers in the region. The early Portuguese merchants organised an indigenous textile trade in which cloth was an exchange-commodity for slaves and other goods (see Carreira I968). This trade was centred on the Cape Verde Islands and the main coastal areas, and local weaving, in a particularly favoured position at this time, gained greatly from the Portuguese presence. The capabilities of the loom were modified and a method of weft-faced weaving was encouraged to permit the manufacture of new cloth designs introduced by the Europeans. The Manjaka weavers, along with those on the Cape Verde Islands, were the fortunate beneficaries of this legacy.3 Modern Manjaka weavers in Senegal have by far the most sophisticated method of weaving, a style which surpasses many other mainland weavers. Their cloth is highly decorated with motifs, figures and geometrical designs; and their loom is most distinctive, for it is elongated length-ways and thus allows room for another weaver to operate the many secondary heddles which lift the warp threads in order to incorporate weft-floats. It is these floats that produce a motif on the cloth.
The Tukolor loom, like the Serer loom, is in marked contrast to the Manjaka loom, and bears witness to a different tradition, though some borrowing between these groups of weavers has taken place. The Tukolor loom is a much more squat affair, operated by a single weaver. Being generally warp-faced, their cloth is more simple and the design comes from stripes incorporated into the warp when it is laid. Each pick inserts only one or two weft threads into the cloth, whereas the Manjaka method inserts up to four, five or even six. The Serer and Tukolor looms are virtually identical, with the one exception of the smaller-sized pulley-wheel in the former case. The Serer loom also tends to be sunk further into the ground than the Tukolor type, the weaver hollowing out a space under the loom to allow for the vertical movement of the pedals. It would be no exaggeration to say that these two looms are related in construction;
indeed, oral tradition has it that the Serer originated in Fuuta Toro, the Tukolor homeland, a region in the Senegal river basin.