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  • 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.

  • A Western term for multi-colored trade cloths exported from India made by a complex process involving block printing and freehand application of mordant resist. They were prized for their intricate designs and strong, clear reds and blues. Chintz, also known as kain batik India in the archipelago and sarasa in Japan, were made with different patterns and formats to suit the taste of the intended markets. Those that found their way into the archipelago influenced batik production and other regional styles.
  • Naturally occurring mercury sulfide (hgs). It is ground to form a brilliant red pigment (vermillion).
  • A warp that is mounted on the loom as a continuous loop, and that results in a textile that is in tubular form (usually with a short section of unwoven warp).
  • A warp that is wound in a circular fashion between a warp beam and a cloth beam, and then woven in the same fashion to make a tubular piece of cloth (usually with a short section of unwoven warp). The cloth must normally be cut after removing it from the loom, but on occasions it may be used as-is without cutting, as happens with some lamalera bride-wealth cloths on the island of lembata.

  • See bidirectional heddle.
  • The axle/beam to which the warp is fastened (or passes around), and on which the woven fabric is wound on some looms. On horizontal looms this beam is usually positioned directly in front of the weaver, in which case it may also be called a breast-beam.
  • The beam of a loom nearest to the weaver, around which the warp is wound.

  • A rod around which every warp thread is wrapped once. This rod serves to keep the warp threads aligned and in order. Mainly found in simple body-tensioned looms that lack a reed.
  • See reed.
  • A method of preparing fibers for spinning. Fibers are aligned by drawing them through the teeth of a single large comb or transferring them between two combs. The process also separates longer fibers from shorter ones. Yarns spun from combed wool are smoother and stronger than yarns from carded wool, and are known as “worsted.”