Rug Weaving: The First Part – Framing or Siah Bandi

by Rugsblog

What is rug framing or Siah bandi? Why is it Necessary? What is the water count, and how to calculate the rug wate? We want to teach these subjects in the second part of the rug weaving tutorial (pictorial rug framing). At the end of this article, you can frame any loom in different sizes.

What is Siah Bandi or Framing?

A rug must be prepared to be wrapped. For this propose, the loom must be divided into 7 cm units based on wate design.

Why the Loom Must be Framed?

You can start weaving a rug from one side of the loom and finish it on the other without Siah Bandi. However, Siah Bandi, or the framing, is still an essential step in rug weaving and cannot be removed. You might ask yourself why? This is a common question for many unfamiliar with framing and its advantages. They are unaware of the consequences of wrapping a rug without Siah Bandi or framing.

What is Wate Count in Hand-Knotted Rugs?

Before talking about loom Siah Bandi, you should know what “wate count” is. Wate count is a term used for hand-knotted rugs, which is considered an essential criterion in evaluating the quality and value of a rug. Wate count determines whether a rug is fine-knotted or coarse-knotted.

How to Calculate Wate Count?

Wate counting can be different in different regions. Here we will use the Turkish wate counting unit. Every Turkish wate count is equal to 7 cm. It means that the number of knots placed in 7 cm determines the rug wate count. The higher the knots in every unit, the knots will be finer. With more knots in every unit, the rug will have higher quality. Also, the wate count can differ based on the material used to weave a rug. More knots will be placed in every unit when we use high-quality materials.


Wate count can equal 40, 45, 50, 60, 70, and 80. The wate count in most hand-knotted rugs and pictorial rugs hand-woven is usually 45. And we also consider 24 wate count for Siah Bandi of the loom.

Selecting a Suitable Loom

First, you need to get a suitable rug loom that matches the size of the chosen design.

How Do We Know Which Is the Most Suitable Rug Loom?

Before choosing a rug loom, you should choose a design and pattern to weave. Usually, if you choose a computerized design and pattern, the size of the rug is included on the first and all design pages. But if you select a traditional design, you can calculate the size of the rug by counting the 10×10 units of the checkered pattern.

What Are the Features of a Suitable Rug Loom?

Every frame is not a loom and is not suitable for wrapping a rug on. Unfortunately, most customers try to make a loom by welding 4 rods together. If you do not consider the loom’s unique standards, you will face many problems during weaving:

  • The rug loom must be robust and durable.
  • The size of the top and bottom of the loom should be the same.
  • The rug should not be crooked, and the corners’ angles should be the same.

How to Frame a Loom?

Now you know Siah Bandi, it’s time to get down to business and start framing. At first, you need a series of tools:

  • Thread and computer map
  • Suitable loom for selected design
  • Wastepaper
  • Marker
  • Glass glue
  • Fabric meter
  • Calculator

First, Cover the loom’s upper and lower parts with some waste paper. We do this for two reasons:

  • To make a clean work and for making out signs with marker
  • The thread can be moved easily on the paper during the wrapping stage.

Framing a Loom in 4 Steps

The first step

After preparing the tools and installing the paper, it is time for the first stage of Siah Bandi. First, we measure the upper bar of the loom, find the middle, and marked it. Then we do the same thing on the lower bar. But this time, we calculate the inner part of the bottom bar, then find the middle of it and mark it. We do this because our wrapping is placed precisely in the middle of the rug loom.

The Second Step

At this stage, you need to calculate your design’s wate count and width. If you use a computerized pattern, the wate count and the rug width are included on the first page. At this stage, using a calculator, divide the width of the rug (our is150 knots) by the wate count ( which is 45 on our pattern).
Important point: We add 10 knots to the width of the rug pattern. For example, if the pattern width is 150 knots, we add ten more knots to have 160 knots.


Why Should We Add 10 Knots to The Rug Design Width?

The first reason is that if we want to work on selvedge, you can keep the first and last 5 knots for selvedge and you should not weave the knots on them.

The second reason is that if we don’t want to add selvedge on the rug, we add these 10 knots To make a thin or coarse weft.

The Third Step

So, by adding ten nodes to the design’s width of the design we have 160 notes. We should divide 160 by 45, which is our wate count.

160 / 45 = 3.555555555555556

Our approximate number is 3.5, which means we have three units with a width of 7 cm and one unit with a width of 3.5 cm (which is half of 7 7 CM). The width of our work is approximately 24 cm. Again, we divide 24 by 2, 12 cm from the middle of the upper and lower bar of the loom.

The Forth Step

In this step, we start with the meter tape and mark the top and bottom of the loom with 7 cm units. If we multiply three units by 45 knots, it will be 135, while the width of our design is 160. So, 25 knots will remain (160=135+25). We should add 3 units of 7 cm to the end of the work after wrapping. Here is the end of the work and Siah Bandi is done.

In the next post we will learn how to wrap a rug.

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