Of Wool and Loom
The Tradition of Tibetan Rugs
by Trinley Chodrak and Kesang Tashi
2000. 160 pp., richly illustrated with 154 colour plates. 29 x 22 cm.
ISBN-10: 974-8304-15-9 Softbound $35.00
ISBN-10: 974-8304-13-2 Hardbound $48.00
Of Wool and Loom
Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, June 2003
Tibet has a long history of weaving, not only rugs for domestic and monastic use but other textiles such as clothing, bags, tents and for use on animals. This book contains a brief history of Tibetan textiles and of carpets as a commercial enterprise. It also explains the use and function of them and describes the weaving processes, knotting and fibres used.
The second half of the book is dedicated to photographs of beautiful rugs, saddle rugs, bags, animal trappings and clothing. Some of the rugs are remarkably abstract in design but most contain floral, animal and Buddhist-related motifs.
The one criticism of this book is that it does not contain is that it does not contain any diagrams of the looms used, warping methods, knotting techniques or information on dyestuffs. Diagrams of the knotting techniques would certainly help weavers to understand the written explanation more clearly.
As books on Tibetan textiles are few and far between it is excellent to have one more published. This one benefits from being written by two Tibetans, who have included the Tibetan words for things mentioned. This book provides a sample of the wealth of textiles waiting to be savoured and appreciated from this once inaccessible region.
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