Wednesday, 5 June 2013


This morning we left the hotel in Khotan early and went to a silk factory. This was similar in size to the one in Kashgar but the weaving was much better. The fabric is question is called atlas and it consists of a tie dyed cotton warp with a silk weft woven in an unequal twill so the two sides are very different colours because one side is warp faced and the other weft faced. In Kashgar the warp cotton was quite thick and I would sett it at 25 to 30 epi. It was woven as 2 and 1 twill. The actual sett was about 60 epi. In Khotan, the warp cotton was much finer and I would sett it at 45 to 50 epi. It was actually sett using 125 to 150 epi and was woven with a 5 and 1 twill, that is six shafts with six treadles attached to one shaft each. No fly shuttle as there was on every loom in Kashgar. The speed of weaving was incredible in Khotan and I reckon they were working at two throws per second!!!! The reed was attached to a complex wooden device which meant it fell into place and they had to expend minimal effort on beating.

The colours were much more subtle here than they were in Kashgar and I bought a length.

All in all very informative. The Ikat tying and dyeing were the same at both places.

Later we walked down the Main Street of Khotan to discover rose petal jam in full production!!!

After that it was off on another long bus trip to the next hotel. But on the way about 100 camels were herded across the main highway by the simple procedure of stationing shepherds on motor bikes to stop the traffic and yelling at the camels.

We really are off the beaten track here. No sign of any other tourists. We are staying in the only hotel in town and everyone stops to stare at us when we walk around outside.

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.