In India, families own looms the same way they own cows and goats. The secrets of making, caring for and using looms is passed down through the generations and over time, they become incorporated into the family's identity. Because they are made individually by hand, each one has quirks of personality and character that make it unique.
A carpet loom in Mohamad Kakroo's workshop.
Loom parts waiting to go to work.
Chains are used to ensure even tension on the warp over the years as the carpet grows.
Weavers hammer the threads of the carpet tight using this comb. Maintaining a steady hammer force ensures that the carpet turns out even and straight.
Peter tries his hand at tying carpet knots. It took him a full minute to tie one knot. At that rate, one of his kids would probably have to finish this carpet after he died.
A team of weavers work together on larger carpets.
This jacquard loom is from the early 1930's. Each wire and thread is lifted and lowered by the punch cards to create patterns in the fabric.
Three family patterns wait to be put to work. While the patterns are the same each time they are used, different color combinations in the setup make each run unique. The art lies in selecting a balanced set of colors to match the specific pattern they'll use. All the Jamawars we carry were woven on looms like these.
Most looms from this vintage were imported from Germany, France, Japan or England.
Spools of silk at the government factory in Srinagar ready to load onto the sari looms.
This factory was chartered in 1939 by the then King of Kashmir.
Shift supervisor's cot and chair at the government factory.