The Turkoman way of life
(Posted on 11/02/17)
The earliest researchers into the Turkomans and their weaving culture started from the assumption that the Turkomans had always been nomads and therefore the historical roots of their weaving were to be found in nomadic traditions. That the art of knotting grew out of the practical necessities of a nomadic way of life appears to be a convincing hypothesis. Mobility was an important requirement of this lifestyle and all the nomad’s personal property had to be, as far as possible, light, easily transportable and made from readily available raw materials, the most important of which was the wool from their own flocks of sheep. Piled carpets provided protection from the cold underfoot – in these climates, freezing temperatures seep up from the ground at night – and could also be used as cover and blankets. However, the general opinion today is that although nomads unquestionably played an important part in the development of pile weaving, they may not actually have invented it. In the nomadic environment, it was easier to make felts and flat-weaves. Felting, indeed, is probably among the oldest of textile techniques. No loom is needed and items can be made in comparatively short time. By contrast, the production of a knotted carpet can take several months, and thus it is hardly a technique suitable for nomadic way of life.