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  • A heddle that has strings attached both above and below the warp, which can pull warps both upwards and downwards. Also called a clasped heddle.
  • The use of carved wooden blocks to apply mordants or resist substances, such as hot wax, to the surface of a woven cloth prior to dyeing.

  • See shuttle.
  • A loom that is tensioned by the weaver’s body, generally via a backstrap around the weaver’s waist. Body-tensioned looms include both frame and non-frame types. Synonyms: back-tensioned loom, backstrap loom, loin loom (india). In the indonesian archipelago this is the main type of loom. The warp is wound between two beams: a cloth beam and a warp beam. The weaver sits on a mat on the ground, with the cloth beam secured to her waist by a backstrap. The warp beam is secured to an external point (such as a house beam) or in a pair of uprights in a simple frame.

  • Interlacing three or more yarns or yarn bundles by hand to make a coherent structure called a ‘braid’ or ‘plait’. Braiding is commonly used to make ropes, as well as to make neat fringes on some textiles.

  • Goods that are part of a ‘bride’s wealth’ or dowry. In the indonesian archipelago most traditional marriages, which take place within tightly knit communities, are accompanied by the exchange of such goods in a predetermined pattern. Typically, handwoven textiles pass from the bride’s family to the groom’s family, while precious heirlooms such as metal swords, water buffalo, and elephant ivory pass in the opposite direction.

  • In strict technical weaving terms, brocade refers to discontinuous supplementary-weft patterning, often in silk and metal threads, as in the sumptuously Indonesian and Malay songket. The term is also used more loosely for cloth with multi-colored designs that are created during weaving.
  • A distinct ethnic group from southern Sulawesi, many of whom are coast-dwellers and seafarers.
  • A term for supplementary weft wrapping, used in parts of Timor.
  • Flower, a generic term for a motif.
  • A finishing process by which a smooth surface is produced on cloth. Various surface treatments may be used, including applying coating materials and rolling or hammering. Also called polishing or glazing.
  • Hair obtained from camelid species, including camels, llamas and alpacas.
  • A type of frame loom characterized by heddles and/or reed that are supported by a cantilever structure, attached to posts at the back of the loom.
  • A small tool used for ‘drawing’ on cloth with hot wax. A reservoir made of copper holds the hot wax, which flows onto the fabric via a copper nib. This tool is used for applying fine detail to cloth during the batik process.

  • A copper stamp, usually made from small pieces of copper sheet, cut and soldered to form motifs, used for printing wax resists during the making of batik.
  • A technique for weaving narrow bands and strips, and starting borders for some kinds of weaving. Warps pass through a pack of plates or cards with holes in that lie parallel to the warp. The cards are rotated to move warps up and down, to open and close sheds for weft insertion. Card looms are usually body-tensioned, with a cloth beam attached to the weaver’s waist. Also known as tablet weaving.

  • A method of preparing fibers for spinning. It is used to even out the density of short fibers, most often wool, by laying them on the teeth of a wire brush (called a card) and scraping them with another matching wire brush. Cards with metal teeth are first recorded in Europe in the 13th century. Yarns spun from carded wool tend to be weak and spongy.

  • A textile designed as a floor covering. Carpets may use knotting techniques to create pile or they may be “flatwoven” using techniques such as tapestry. Synonym: rug.

  • A feline critter

  • (French) A fancy word for “process”, such as the process for making a textile.