Khiva Silk Workshops
After a row of knots have been completed, the girls weave a weft thread horizontally across the carpet. This is then secured by banging it in place with a weavers comb. If this process is not done correcty, the design will bulge and the carpet will not have the correct proportions.
The newly finished row is then trimmed using special carpet scissors. The girls make it look easy, but it actually requires a lot of skill. Once trimmed, the warp threads are swapped and the next row of knots can begin.
An average carpet takes three girls around three months to weave. Once completed, the carpets are cut from the loom and the fringes knotted. We then scorch the back of the rug to remove stray silk and fluff; a process that always alarms visitors!
The finished rug lacks shine and lustre and needs a good wash. We wash it with cream of tartar to bring out the sheen and then with shampoo and conditioner. Excess water is removed using a wooden block rubbed in the direction of the pile.
Although the rugs are continually trimmed during weaving, they are still a bit lumpy and need one final trim to ensure that the pile is all the same length. It's a horrible job resulting in blisters, but thankfully most girls only have to do it around once every three months. The rug is now ready for pricing and selling.