Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery

Hand Looms, Foot Looms and more

Many of the textile enthusiasts that I know, enjoy understanding the technicalities that go into the creation of the art. The loom type, the weave type, the knot structure etc etc.

Over the years I have taken photos of many different looms that are unique to the regions extending from Kutch in the West India to Ryukyu in Japan. My limited knowledge in this area does not qualify me to write about it and so am merely posting pictures.


1. First some Charkhas or Spinning wheels – used to spin cotton by hand.

Wovensouls-hand-loom-photo-2 (1)From kutch Ryukyu


1. The Masru Loom:

Masru is a type of textile that has silk on the correct side and cotton on the side that touches the skin. I was told that this is created because Silk is not allowed on the skin of men in that community.


Wovensouls-hand-loom-photo-0 Wovensouls-hand-loom-photo-1 (1)   Wovensouls-hand-loom-photo-5 Wovensouls-hand-loom-photo-6  Wovensouls-hand-loom-photo-8

2. Rug Loom, Bhuj, Kutch:


Wovensouls-hand-loom-photo-2 Wovensouls-hand-loom-photo-3

3. The Tamil Loom (probably Kanjeevaram)


traditional-textiles-of-south-india-12-of-52 traditional-textiles-of-south-india-22-of-52 traditional-textiles-of-south-india-23-of-52traditional-textiles-of-south-india-9-of-52 traditional-textiles-of-south-india-10-of-52 traditional-textiles-of-south-india-11-of-52


4. Tribal Loom in Odisha

a-tribal-portrait-201301-orissa-1616a-tribal-portrait-201301-orissa-1613The cloth she produces is hung up on the side. These are worn as wrap around skirts by this tribe that has minimal dressing.

5. Back Strap Looms from Arunachal & Mizoram

a. Garo Tribe


b. Apatani Tribe

3admin-ajax.php 4admin-ajax.php

6. Hilltribe of Northern Thailand

a. Karen Tribe


Long-Neck Karen Tribe



7. Ryukyu Weaving – Japan

Ryukyu Weaver, Japan Ryukyu Weaver, Japan Ryukyu Weaver, Japan Ryukyu Weaver, Japan

And one more from the – it said that this is from India.



This variation makes me realise that if something as definitive as technology can evolve differently from one region to the next, why should there be a single homogenous life model for all?

Why must life models with less aggressive media, or less interest in finance be overriden by models that have the power and access to influence mindsets? Can everyone not be left alone in their habitat?

jaina mishra

May 2014

6 comments on “Hand Looms, Foot Looms and more

  1. Rita Raniwala
    May 3, 2014

    Lovely article . And so true ! Why same life model for all ? Why can’t things which really matter not be homogeneous !

  2. awesome. Greetings of Burgundy France

  3. wovensouls
    May 3, 2014

    Posting comment by Darrell McKnight & replies from the FB page:

    Jaina, When you say foot looms do you mean looms with treadles or a foot-braced back-strap loom? Have you ever seen a foot-braced back-strap loom being used where the warp beam was held taught by the feet? Also, I wonder if you have any knowledge of the names for the parts of the back-strap loom in Indian languages. I wonder if the back-strap loom was introduced to Indonesia from India but can’t find the names for its parts or the loom itself in any Indian languages to compare with the names used in Indonesia. Thanks for any info on weaving and dyeing terms in Indian languages or sources where I might find such info.

  4. wovensouls
    May 3, 2014

    Darrell, I am quite ignorant about this entire subject What I termed foot-looms are the ones with foot pedals like the one shown in the Masru loom used in Kutch and the one from Ryukyu Japan. (pictures in the blog articel). Maybe my term is a misnomer? Am not sure how these work but neither of these is a back strap loom. The only backstrap looms that I have seen in India were the ones in the North-East states of India. It is a long shot but I can try to find the information from people I met there and from the regional books I picked up.

    About weaving / dyeing terms in India – do let me know what you are looking for and I or others on this forum could try to answer your questions.

  5. wbondanza
    June 12, 2018

    I am trying to locate my old friend Darrell McKnight. I knew him when I lived in Japan in the 1970s. My name is Billy Bondanza. I lost touch with him some years ago ad would appreciate any contact info you may have for him. Thank you. Billy Bondanza **********

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  6. wovensouls
    June 13, 2018

    Hello Billy – I’ve messaged him on Facebook and he is excited to find you too! His reply: “Thanks!! I have also tried to find Billy without success but you have put us back in touch!! Thanks so much!!”

Leave a Reply







Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 990 other subscribers




%d bloggers like this: