Bedouin Weaving Techniques

Bedouin Weaving in Bilad ElSham is done almost in the same way, excep for designs and colors, which is specific to each area of origin.

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Weaving is only the final stage in a long process of production. For both the Bedouin and villagers, shearing of the sheep and goats takes place in the spring after the animals have been washed.  The villagers sell most of their sheep wool but some is kept as filling for their mattresses used for sitting and sleeping. On the other hand, the Bedouin have a lot of goats and use the coarse hair from their goats for weaving the thick tent rugs. One can see the Bedouin women walking around with their meghzal, or spindle used for spinning the yarn for their rugs. The spindle is constructed of a wooden staff on top of which is a small moveable wheel with a hook that holds the spun yarn as it is wrapped around the shaft.

Weaving of the tent cloth is done by the Bedouin women on a ground loom. The loom is constructed of very simple materials of sturdy sticks and stones. Two wooden sticks are pinned to the ground and the woolen yarn stretch between them while another stick is placed in the middle to separate the long warp threads. The woman sits cross-legged at the end of the ground loom and feeds the weft yarn attached to a stick back and forth between the twisted threads. The weaver gradually moves down the length of the rug and maintains the tightness of the threads. Dark colors are preferred. The traditional colors include deep reds, navy blues, greens, oranges and black.


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