Woven cotton textile in process on its loom, including loom bars, heddle rods, shuttle sticks
Unknown place of origin and date
Possibly south coast(?) of Peru
Cotton wrap and weft, sticks, reeds; warp-faced plain weave
27 x 14 cm
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the May Company Department Stores. X65.14334a
Beginning and ending woven warp selvages are extant as well as weft edges.
A Peruvian loom is a set of sticks. The warp and weft give it shape and form. Here the basic loom holds a partially woven warp. The sticks – one at each end – are the loom bars that hold the warp yarns, lashed to the set of yarns by a cord. The weaver begins at one end and inserts the wefts, using a shuttle, the small stick wrapped with cottom yarn. After a few insertions, that stabilize the selvage, the loom is turned around, and the weaver begins at the opposite end. On this particular cloth, the weaver finished only a small portion of the weaving at each end. The weaving process would hava been aided by the lifting of the heddles — the darker brown loops; these loops were likely lifted with another stick, the heddle rod, which is now missing. The close spacing of the warp yarns has created a warp-faced fabric, where the warp yarns cover the wefts, which are almost invisible.
Source: Elena Phipps, The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth. Ancient Threads / New Directions. Fowler Museum Textile Series, No. 12, Los Angeles, 2013