Home / Romanian Crafts / The Loom Weaving Methods of a Traditional Artisan

The Loom Weaving Methods of a Traditional Artisan

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on Google+

The Loom Weaving Methods of a Traditional Artisan

What fascinates us about the craft of a traditional artisan?

…Could it be that he is a link between the past, the present and the future?

He  crafts his products by means of primitive tools,  vintage and antiques, most of which could  be found in museums. There are tons of fancy weaving gadgets and looms on the market today, but watching an old style loom  being put to work can be  totally fascinating.

Traditional Artisan

I had a wonderful experience visiting the traditional artisan Aurelia Cardei, who showed us the ins and outs of her weaving methods. We saw how she assembled the loom  and understood it’s mechanics. Then, we watched her setting up her loom for weaving.

She has developed these skills since childhood, while sitting besides her grandmother and watching her weaving rugs, traditional blankets and blouses. When she was in the seventh grade, she grew particularly  interested in weaving warp faced patterned bands.

Warp Faced Weaving

In Romania, such cords are traditionally used to tie the wrap around skirts at the waist.  Back then, there was a school cleaning lady who was creating beautiful patterned bands, and inspired Aurelia.

Woven Cords

Double Face Weaving

She showed us some of her finished projects, pointing at each pattern, locally called by various names: „the gingerbread”, a “flower with wings”, the “buds on the twig”, “sheep toes”, the „S” pattern.

Patterned Bands

Woven Bands

Some patterns are maybe a hundred years old”, she explains.

The symbols were inherited and reproduced from one generation to the next. The traditional artisans followed them, linking the past to the present.

Woven Bands

Symbols such as “Sheep’s Toe”, or “The S Pattern”, meaning the shepherd’s hook, point to an ancient occupation. Shepherding. The sheep breeding in Northern Romania was a traditional, century-old activity. Hence, many vintage textiles, including these patterned cords, were made of natural hand dyed and  handspun wool.  Before they even began work at their loom, they had to shear the sheep and process the fleece themselves. After the introduction of the industrially available threads, such methods stopped being employed.

Patterned Bands

The shepherds hook, initially made of a hard cornel-wood, with a S shape head, was used for catching sheep by their legs.

Aurelia Cardei Weaving  A Warp Faced Patterned Band

Furthermore, Aurelia showed us how she weaves a warp faced patterned band in double face weaving technique, explaining that all the dark blue warp threads are border and pattern threads and the light blue are background threads.

Weaving Methods

She’s weaving with one weft color. She’s raising and lowering threads to get the custom shed. The weft is then passed through this custom shed and is pushed with a hand beater, made of maple wood, locally known as „weaving knife”.

Passing the Spindle and Distaff to the Next Generation of Spinners and Weavers

We were not the only ones watching Aurelia. She was being observed by her nieces, who were watching her every move.  She smiles a little, knowing that it is her turn to pass the old techniques to the next generation of spinners and weavers.

If you liked this article, don’t forget to share it.

Similar Articles

How is The Romanian Blouse Made

Vladimir, the 19 Years Old Millennial Loom Weaving Fabric, Spinning, Knitting

Lace Weaving Towels in Romania


Get the latest posts delivered straight to your inbox for free. Enter your email below:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *