Reading for the Weaver

Amplifying Agency through a Material Rhetoric Methodology

Nancy Small with Riyaz Bhat


decorative rug detail
Rug detail of geometric pattern in the center of the rug
This design highlights the weaver's talent at geometric precision, as the rug is mirrored side-to-side and has the panes repeated top and bottom. See the whole rug in its own window.

Detail of rug's border with some red dye bleeding into the white background
The dye for this wool is super saturated, pointing to the weaver's access to and use of a strong stock of indigo and madder. The colors are so dark that photographing them was challenging—the camera did not know how to focus on the combination of dark red and indigo. Here, some bleeding from the red dye onto the white background of the border work is evident.

Detail of a border corner turn or join
Highly repetitive geometric patterns such as this one must be rather demanding on the weaver, as she must stick carefully to a pattern but also figure out how to navigate the complexities of corners as the shapes meet and sometimes turn. Tacking-in to the main white border, notice that improvisation was required and accomplished with nuanced differences at each of the four corners.

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