Follow us on
Search Search in the site

The frames

The frames

The frames

In the island, two types of frames are used, the vertical and the horizontal. A more archaic origin is attributed to the vertical one, also by virtue of its extremely simple structure, but it cannot be ruled out that horizontal frames that were more elementary than the traditional ones with pedals and a group of licci, whose use is still vital, were coeval with the vertical one.

Whatever their origins, the horizontal loom was widespread throughout the island until the first decades of the twentieth century, while the vertical loom, which must have had a much wider distribution, is currently in use only in some centers of Barbagia and the Goceanarium, areas where there is also the horizontal frame on which textile products of different kinds are made.

Horizontal frame
The traditional horizontal frame ('teláriu, telárzu, telárgu'), in wood, consists of two heavy parallel easels that act as a support for the moving parts placed transversely: a front, called 'subbio del fabric', and a rear one called 'subbio d'ordito'. The wires that make up the warp are stretched between the two subbi by passing through a rod or metal comb placed in a median position compared to the subbi, together with the group of pipes of the licci connected, by means of strings, to the pedalboard that is anchored to the floor. The easels must be perfectly parallel and the entire central structure must be positioned at a right angle to the easels to avoid fabric irregularities.
The weaver works on the stretched warp in a horizontal position, sitting on an axis placed parallel to the front subvium, on which the fabric produced is gradually wrapped, launching the shuttle and acting on the pedals that lift one or the other group of licci based on the weaving technique that is intended to be carried out, for which the warp will also have been prepared beforehand. The average width of the fabrics produced on this type of frame ranges from a minimum of 50 to a maximum of 75 cm. The large artifacts were the result of the union of several sheets.
The weaving takes place by introducing the spola that carries the weave through the threads of the warp. This makes the work very fast if flat fabrics with thrown textures are produced. To obtain special decorative effects, additional ornamental textures can be inserted directly with the hands, using large needles or wrapped in small fuses.
On the horizontal frame you can make orbace sheets, canvases and pebbly fabrics for personal and household linen, towels for baking, for bags, for saddlebags. On the same frame, most of the best-known artifacts of the Sardinian tradition are also made: saddlebags (“bertulas”), ornaments for oxen and horses (“collànas”), cassava covers (“oberibancu”) and blankets (“mantas, fanugas”) characterized by complex polychrome decorations made on backgrounds of different kinds using the technique of thrown textures (“a lìtsus, a briàli, a mos'te pèi”), hedgehog or grains (“a pibiònis, a rànu)”), face of plot (“an indent”), overlapping textures (“a bàgas, a làuru, a punt'e agu”).
The decorative motifs on the most complex artifacts are the most varied and reflect and reinterpret the iconographic motifs typical of the cultures that succeeded the island. The list of decorative motifs and their combinations is vast and in many cases their meaning has been lost: geometric patterns alternating with anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, phytomorphic, religious and heraldic motifs.

Vertical frame
The vertical frame ('teláriu, telárzu') consists of two vertical posts fixed between floor and ceiling, placed between them at a distance of about 2 m. Two movable axes are fixed between the two uprights: the upper one, which constitutes the subbio of the warp, and the lower one, which constitutes the subbio of the fabric. The warp is wrapped on the upper axis and then stretched on the lower one; two reeds and an axis with an order of twists, placed in a median position, adjust the opening of the passage between the even and odd wires of the warp to allow the insertion of the weave. This is started downwards with a sort of big bone awl and finally beaten with a heavy wooden comb until the wires of the warp are tightened and completely hidden.
The traditional vertical frame is built entirely of wood, while in recent examples some structural parts are made of iron and the overall width of the frame also varies.
On the vertical frame, which allows limited technical variations, large polychrome blankets, some type of saddlebag and a particular funeral rug called “tapinu e mortu” were produced, whose production stopped in the early twentieth century. The current production has re-functionalized the blankets into carpets, adapting their dimensions for this purpose. The very bright colors of the past have been replaced by muted tones and the decorative apparatus itself has been modified and substantially simplified to adapt it to the client's taste, losing, in many cases, local peculiarities.


6/9/2023 - 01:09


Write a comment