Soumak is a type of flat weave, somewhat resembling kilim, but with a stronger and thicker weave, a smooth front face and a ragged back, where kilim is smooth on both sides. Soumak lacks the slits characteristic of kilim, as it is usually woven with supplementary weft threads as continuous supports. The technique involves wrapping colored weft threads over and under the warp threads, adding strength and embroidery-like pattern.
The technique of making a soumak involves wrapping wefts over a certain number of warps (usually 4) before drawing them back under the last two warps. The process is repeated from selvedge to selvedge. The wefts are discontinuous; the weaver selects colored threads in turn, and wraps each within the area which is to have that particular colour.
Unlike a kilim, the back is left ragged, with all the loose ends of the differently-colored weft threads visible, sometimes several inches long, providing extra thickness and warmth. Also unlike a kilim, there are no slits where colors meet, as there is a supplementary or structural weft which supports the colored pattern weft.
|Actual Size||2' 9" X 4' 9"|
|Country of Origin||Afghanistan|
|Period||20th Century 4th Qtr|
|Colour Tags||Ivory, Gray, Red|
|Condition Notes||Crease Near Center Where Pile Is Unevenly Worn - End Secure|