End Finishes Project       Woven Structures Update


Bands of Oblique Wrapping

To make a cross-wise band with warp ends, the weaver may turn them, either one by one or in small groups, and wrap them obliquely around a few warps that she holds downward. The construction is much like weftless soumak, except, of course, that the warps themselves become the wrapping elements. Most often two or more warp yarns work together as units, not singly, as shown in the diagram. This is all done, of course, after the rug has been taken from the loom.

The first row or two of wrapping are horizontal; then subsequent rows slant upward toward the rug.  The ends of the wrapping yarns emerge when they reach the woven fabric.  As with oblique interlacing, the band is sloped or curved at its starting point.

The best clue to the identification of an obliquely wrapped band is the striking difference between its front and back surfaces. Like soumak, one face has long diagonal wrapping spans, while the other has short horizontal spans that form tight, round columns. The warp ends emerge toward the fabric.  Either face may be used for the front, and such a band may be worked on either face.  It may be worked with either the long spans on top (as in the drawing), or with those spans underneath.

Kars Kilim. Northeast Anatolia
5'4" x 13'5" (163 cm x 410 cm). 2nd quarter, 20th century.

STRUCTURES:  Slit tapestry. Sparse twining and soumak details.
WARP:  2-ply wool, in ivory and various shades of brown, some plied barber-pole fashion.  8 per inch (32 per dm). 
WEFT:  2-ply wool, 36 per inch (142 per dm).
SELVAGES:  One set of paired warps.
ATTACHMENTS:  Remnants of tassels remain that were attached through slits along the sides.

END FINISHES:  Bands of oblique wrapping. Corded warp fringe (retained in a few places).
FURTHER NOTES:  A long tab made with a slit measuring 16" (40 cm) runs along each side of the kilim at one end. The purpose of these is unknown.
[DD-101. Daniel Deschuyteneer]

The wrapped band on this kilim has been worked so that the face normally considered the back is used instead for the front.  Changes in the color of the warps show up as diagonally-shaped sections in the band, since their wrapping path is oblique.

Back of the kilim.   These warp ends finished their wrapping in an upward position.  When the kilim is in use, this fringe flops downward, behind the band.
East Anatolian Rug
4'7" x 12'8" (140 cm x 386 cm). Circa 1900.

STRUCTURE:  Symmetrical knots;  H: 7, V: 7, 49 knots per square inch (H: 27.5/dm, V: 27.5/dm, 756 knots per square dm). Discontinuous wefts and weft inlays. No warp depression.
WARP:  Loose 3-ply yarns:  2 tan wool plies and 1 dark brown goat hair ply.
WEFT:  2-ply light brown wool; primarily 2 picks, crossed between sheds.
PILE:  2 wool singles;
2 camel-hair singles; height: 6 mm.
SELVAGES:  Not original.
UPPER END FINISH:  Plain weave; band of oblique wrapping.
[DD-102. Daniel Deschuyteneer]

Variously colored plies in the warps of this rug obscure the fine structure of the oblique wrapping.  (Front)
Veramin Kilim. Persia
3'2" x 8'10" (150 cm x 418 cm).  20th century.

PRIMARY STRUCTURE:  Slit tapestry. Interlaced pattern outlining and other eccentric wefts.
SECONDARY STRUCTURE:  Heavy borders of 3-span twining.
WARP:  7-ply white cotton; 7 per inch (28 per dm).
WEFT:  2-ply wool;  38 per inch (150 per dm) average.
UPPER END FINISH:  Overhand knots.

LOWER END FINISH:  Narrow band of oblique wrapping.
[MM-1055.  M. Mallett]

White cotton warps were wrapped obliquely to make a narrow, tight band on this Persian kilim. The cotton has matted, obscuring the structure slightly.

This kilim is completely reversible, so either side might be considered the front. Just above the end finish are two very heavy rows of twining; the ends of these twining yarns are knotted and left as small tassels at the corners.
Kurdish Rug. West Persia
45"x 93" (177 cm x 366 cm)

STRUCTURE:  Symmetrical knots, H: 7, V: 11, 77 knots per square inch. No warp depression.
WARP:  2-ply light tan wool.
WEFT:  2 red wool singles, 2 shots.
PILE:  2 wool singles.
SELVAGES:  Overcast with red wool.

UPPER END FINISH:  Obliquely wrapped band; warp ends finished on the underside with two rows of overhand knots, offset. Balanced plain weave with 2-color, 3-span twining.
LOWER END FINISH:  Twined heading cord, followed by 3-strand twining. Plain-weave band with 2-color, 3-span twining.  See photo on the Twining page.
[MU-100.  Mesut Ulusoy]

Pairs of warps have been wrapped obliquely to
form an upper end finish for this Kurdish rug. 
This curved end was the starting point.  Front view.
With part of the band folded upward, the
differences between its front and back are
clearly visible. We can also see part of the
knotted warp ends. A photo of the back side
appears on the Knotted Meshwork page. 
Northeast Anatolian Kilim
4'6" x 13'  (213 cm x 615 cm)

STRUCTURE:  Slit tapestry, with brocaded details.
WARP:  2-ply brown wool; 9 per inch.
TAPESTRY WEFT:  3-ply wool; 44 per inch.
BROCADING WEFT:  3 wool singles.

END FINISHES:  Narrow obliquely wrapped bands, worked with heavy groups of 5 warps which are then corded to make long fringe finished with overhand knots. Tightly wrapped columns are formed on the front.
[MM-492.  M. Mallett]

This wrapped end finish was worked from the kilim's back side,  so that  diagonal columns were formed on the front.  Because five warps were combined for each wrapping unit, the band is a bit loose and stretchy.  The heavy corded fringe has proved very durable.   (Front view)
Kurdish Brocaded Panel.  Possibly the Aleppo area
35½" x 121"  (90 cm x 307 cm)

STRUCTURE:  Six warp-faced, brocaded panels, sewn together.  
WARP:  2-ply wool or 3-dply hand-spun cotton; 42 per inch.
WEFT:  2-sply wool or 3-ply cotton; 15 per inch.
SELVAGES:  No special treatment.

END FINISHES:  Obliquely wrapped bands. Wrapped columns formed on the front.  
[DD-145.  Daniel Deschuyteneer]

NOTE:  Unlike most multi-paneled brocaded pieces from the Sivas area of Anatolia, this piece is warp-faced. 

Front of the band. As with the kilim above, this wrapped band was worked from the back (below) so that tight diagonal columns appear on the front. The ivory wrapping in the detail here extends diagonally across the seam, since  the panels were sewn together before the band was made.  

Back of the band. The wrapping was done with heavy groups of warps. 

Malatya/Sinan Saddlebag Face. Eastern Anatolia
25"x 23"  (99 cm x 91 cm)

STRUCTURE:  Slit tapestry.
SECONDARY STRUCTURE:  Narrow borders of soumak wrapping.
WARP:  2-ply wool; 16 per inch.
WEFT:  Wool and cotton; 62 per inch.
TAPESTRY WEFTS:  2-ply wool; cotton.
SELVAGES:  No special treatment.

END FINISH:  Band of oblique wrapping; diagonal wrapped columns on the back side.
[JI-756.  Junko and Akira Ito]

It is surprising to find an obliquely wrapped band on this early saddlebag face, since later examples from the same area display narrow two-pick interlaced bands instead.  There is continuity, however, in the design elements used, as well as the unusual soumak details.  This slit-tapestry piece is very finely woven and my guess is that it dates from the mid-19th century or earlier. 

A later Malatya/Sinan piece is shown on the Two-Pick Interlaced Bands page.

Malayer Knotted Pile Carpet. Iran
3'6"x 16'3" (165 cm x 768 cm)

STRUCTURE:  Symmetrical knots. H: 8, V: 9, 72 per square inch (H: 32/dm, V: 35/dm, 1120 per square dm)
No warp depression.
WARP:  6-ply white cotton.
WEFT:  1 pink wool single; 1 shot.
PILE:  2 wool singles.
SELVAGES:  Not original.
UPPER END FINISH:  Plain weave; 2 cotton singles.

LOWER END FINISH:  1.5 cm obliquely wrapped band; ends emerge on the back side; Balanced plain weave band, 2 wool singles, supplemented with with borders of red and blue 2-span twining.
[JO-100.  John Overton]

Wrapped columns appear on the back of this obliquely wrapped band.


    Variations on Oblique Wrapping

In a distinctive variation on oblique wrapping, triangular bases are made for heavy square braids. In separate sections, two pairs of warps are wrapped inward toward a center point, where they turn downward, to be enclosed by the next wrappings. Successive pairs wrap for shorter distances, stopping at the same center; then the warps are combined in a heavy square braid. Carefully distinguishing between obliquely- wrapped end finishes and those made with interlaced details may help to separate groups of Kurdish weaves.
Herki Kurd Kilim. Iraq
36½" x 82" (93 cm x 209 cm)

STRUCTURE:  Slit tapestry.
SECONDARY STRUCTURE:  Soumak wrapping (2/1) for pattern outlines and narrow borders.
WARP:  2-ply ivory wool; 9 warps per inch (35 per dm).
WEFT:  2-ply wool in the tapestry pattern areas, 42 per inch (165 per dm); wool singles in the plain-weave bands, 30 per inch (118 per dm).
SELVAGES:  2 sets of paired warps.

END FINISHES:  Heavy square braids with triangular wrapped bases. 
[MM-105.  M. Mallett]

Five warp pairs are wrapped from each side toward a center,
then four pairs, then three, etc. to form a triangular base for
each heavy square braid. The braids are bound on the ends
with variously colored wools.   (Front)
The backs of the triangular
bases display the vertical
columns typical of wrapped
Yezidi Kurd Rug, NE Iraq
27½" x 51" (108 cm. x 202 cm.)  Circa 1930.

STRUCTURE:  Symmetrical knots. H: 6, V: 6, 36 per square inch. (H: 24/dm, V: 24/dm, 576 per square dm).
Some discontinuous wefts. Offset knots used to shape the design. No warp depression.
WARP:  2-ply gray wool.
WEFT:  Dark gray-brown wool singles, 4 picks. 
PILE:  2 wool singles.
SELVAGES:  Large and flat (18mm), with 6 warp units (2,2,1,1,1,1) interlaced by the ground wefts and reinforced with contrasting wool singles, forming narrow wedge-shaped bands.

END FINISHES:  2-inch wide weft-faced kilim skirt, adorned with two-color twining. Corded fringes with triangular wrapped bases, finished with overhand knots.
HANDLE:  Floppy and heavy.
NOTE:  The iconography suggests a Yezidi Kurd origin.
[TKG-110.  Mehmet Kiliç, Tribal Kilim Gallery
                    Analysis:  Daniel Deschuyteneer]

Oblique wrapping forms triangular bases for corded

At the bottom left corner of this Kurdish rug, a 5½" vertical slit is present.  The inner part of this slit has its own reinforced selvage.  The purpose of this small flap is unknown, but similar flaps occur on the kilim at the top of this page.  

    Bands of Oblique Wrapping with Downward Interlacing

Occasionally we see bands of oblique wrapping in which the warp yarns have been wrapped sideways and upward toward the rug, then reversed to interlace downward. With the warp ends thus encased within the compact structure, they can be trimmed, if the weaver wishes. Otherwise, they can be left emerging downward as fringe.

In this drawing the interlacing yarn splits warp groups, as occurs in the Baluch rug [DD-107] and Kurdish rug [AA-73938] below.  In the NW Persian rug [DD-103] they instead interlace with the wrapped warp pairs.  

Baluch Knotted Pile Rug. Southwestern Afghanistan or Seistan region of Iran.
41" x 49" (105 cm x 125 cm).  Circa 1950.

STRUCTURE:  Asymmetrical knots, open left; H: 7, V: 11, 77 per square inch (H: 28/dm, 43/dm, 1161 per square dm). No warp depression.

SECONDARY STRUCTURES:  Wide weft-substitution borders   patterned with blue and ivory squares; narrow two-color wrapped and bound borders.
WARP:  2-ply ivory wool.
WEFT:  2 wool singles; 2 shots. 
PILE:  2-ply wool.
SELVAGES:  Right side, 4 warp units (1,1,1,1, the outside two units corded), double looped in pairs with brown-black goat hair. Left side, 2 cords only. 

UPPER END FINISH:  Band of oblique wrapping; the warp ends wrap upward, then interlace downward.
LOWER END FINISH:  Long (3½") warp loops; pairs of loops have re-plied. A row of twining, then two heavy wefts start the weave.

[DD-107. Daniel Deschuyteneer]

To identify this warp-end finish for certain, it is wise to probe with a needle.  The wrapping produces longer spans on the front, with shorter, more rounded segments on the back, but the downward interlacing in between prevents the formation of the neat columns we see on the backs of simple wrapped bands. 

Kurdish Rug.  Probably Western Iran
4'5" x 8'  (135 cm x 244 cm).  Circa 1900.  

STRUCTURE: Symmetrical knotting; H: 6.5, V: 7, 45 knots per square inch (H: 25/dm, V: 27/dm, 675 knots per sq. dm. Extensive use of offset knotting:  all of the field, with the exception of small stepped diamonds along the center axis.  
No warp depression.
WARP:  2-ply ivory wool.
WEFT:  2-ply ivory wool; 1 shot.
PILE:  2 wool singles.
OVERCAST SELVAGES:  Now has new overcasting. 

LOWER END FINISH:  Twined heading cord; three rows of 3-span twining. 
UPPER END FINISH:  Band of oblique wrapping. The warp ends reverse to interlace downward, splitting the wrapped pairs. 
[AA-73938.  Alan Arthur]

Such pieces are sometimes attributed to southeastern Turkey, but the overcast selvages and single wefts make that doubtful in this case. The same design of offset knotting may have been used by more than one group, and with differing structural characteristics.

Here again, on the back side of the wrapped band (above) the usual columns are slightly obscured by the downward-interlaced warp ends. We can see a few of the cut ends along the edge. 

This rug fortunately retained the end finishes on both ends. Here is the neat twined heading cord from the bottom end, with three rows of 3-span twining just above it--first red and green, then ivory, then dark blue.  
Northwest Persian Rug
49" x 83½" (124 cm. x 212 cm.). Circa 1950.

PRIMARY STRUCTURE: Symmetrical knots, H: 4.5, V: 7, 31.5 knots per square inch.  (H: 18/dm, V: 28/dm, 504 per square dm). No warp depression.

SECONDARY STRUCTURES: Complementary-weft weave bands (in X and rosette motif) in red and blue, or brown and blue wool singles.  Single and triple rows of 2-span black goathair twining edge and separate the pattern bands; white cotton is also twined with the goat hair for accents. (See photos on the Complementary- Weft Bands page.)
WARP:  3-ply undyed cotton.
WEFT:  2 picks of thick light blue cotton; in some areas, two-ply brown wool alternates with cotton. Wefts cross between sheds.
PILE:  2 thick wool singles; height: 1 cm.
SELVAGES:  2 warp units (1,1) interlaced by the ground wefts. Remnants of variously colored wool singles can be seen in the area under later overcasting.

UPPER END FINISH:  Oblique wrapping with the ends interlaced downward. 
LOWER END FINISH:  Twined cotton heading cord.
[DD-103.  Daniel Deschuyteneer]

Each group of cotton warps was wrapped sideways (upward) on this rug, then turned and interlaced downward. The back side displays slightly irregular  wrapped  vertical columns.

Back to End Finishes Page

1690 Johnson Road NE
Atlanta, GA  30306   USA

Phone:  404-872-3356
E-Mail:  marlam@mindspring.com
© Marla Mallett      

     End Finishes Project       Woven Structures Update