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How Savonnerie Rugs are Made?

Release time: 2018-12-13    Publisher: Sally Sang

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Savonnerie carpets are made on an upright loom. The weaver unrolls the hand painted design (called a cartoon) to the part being woven. The white cotton warps are stretched vertically between two steel rollers. A pencil outline of the pattern is sketched on the warp threads to serve as a guide for the weaver. Photo courtesy Wikimedia.

yarn tufts of each color (called poms) are arranged in a tray so the entire color palette of the Savonnerie carpet can be seen at a glance

Wool and silk yarns are dyed in the colors depicted in the painted design. Yarn tufts of each color (called poms) are arranged in a tray so the entire color palette of the Savonnerie carpet can be seen at a glance. Photo courtesy Alexandre Mostras and Stephanie Thomas.

 

Tray with shades of pink, rose and red that will be used to weave the Savonnerie carpet 

This tray shows shades of pink, rose and red that will be used in the Savonnerie carpet depicted in the cartoon in image 4. Photo courtesy Alexandre Mostras and Stephanie Thomas.

Tray with shades of yellow and gold that will be used to weave the Savonnerie carpet

This tray shows the shades of yellow, gold and greenish-gold that will be used to make the Savonnerie carpet. Photo courtesy Alexandre Mostras and Stephanie Thomas.

Yarns of several close shades of green are combined on a single bobbin and use to weave the greem motifs in a Savonnerie carpet.

Yarns of several close shades of green are combined on a single bobbin. When you weave with these combined yarns the shading is more gradual and the depth perspective is heightened. By combining yarns of several close shades the weaver is able to create hundreds of subtle shades. Photo courtesy Alexandre Mostras and Stephanie Thomas.

Savonnerie weavers making carpet according to a hand painted cartoon at Manufacture Nationale de la Savonnerie in Paris

The cartoon is painted on a long sheet of paper and is of the same size as the carpet on the loom. The weavers unroll the section of the cartoon they are weaving. Several weavers work at the same time on a carpet. The table has all the bobbins needed for this Savonnerie carpet.

Photo courtesy Alexandre Mostras and Stephanie Thomas.

Savonnerie weavers making carpet at Manufacture Nationale de la Savonnerie in Paris

Strong cotton warp threads run up and down and are held at high tension between two horizontal steel rollers at the top and bottom of the loom. The outline of the pattern is drawn on the warps to guide the weaver. This picture is taken from the back of the rug, the weavers sit facing the front of the rug. Photo courtesy Alexandre Mostras and Stephanie Thomas.

Savonnerie weaver tamping down row of knots on loom at Manufacture Nationale de la Savonnerie in Paris

After tying a row of knots the weaver tamps them down with a heavy steel comb. Photo courtesy Alexandre Mostras and Stephanie Thomas.

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Tamping the knots with a heavy steel comb packs the knots densely making the rug more durable. Photo courtesy Alexandre Mostras and Stephanie Thomas.

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After a row of knots have been tied, a cotton weft thread is passed from left to right and back again. The weft thread will secure the row of knots in place. The warp threads runs vertically and the weft threads run horizontally and they together form a grid that keeps the knots securely in place. Photo courtesy Alexandre Mostras and Stephanie Thomas.

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A weaver nudges individual knots into place with a needle working from the back of the rug. Photo courtesy Alexandre Mostras and Stephanie Thomas.

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A row of knots has been completed using yarns of different colors. Photo courtesy Alexandre Mostras and Stephanie Thomas.

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Another section of the pattern. The next step is to shear the excess yarns create a line of pile. Photo courtesy Alexandre Mostras and Stephanie Thomas.

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The weaver shears excess yarn with specially designed Savonnerie carpet shears. 

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After several inches have been woven the weaver shears the pile again to make it more even. After the entire rug is woven, the warp threads are cut and the rug is taken off the loom. The next step is washing, drying and a final shearing. Photo courtesy Alexandre Mostras and Stephanie Thomas. 

 

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