Different tools are needed in the manufacture of a handmade carpet or rug. Some common tools used in rug and carpets weaving are vertical looms, horizontal looms, Cartoon, knife, scissors, spindle, hooks and comb. Most carpets are woven on looms consisting of two vertical beams and two horizontal ones. The distance between the vertical beams determines the length of the rug/carpet and the distance between the horizontal ones determines the approximate length (as the fringes are woven once the carpet is off the loom, and they can add several inches to the length of the rug or carpet).

Vertical Loom

This loom looks like a frame that is standing up. The warp strands are secured to the top and bottom bars. Rugs and carpets woven on vertical looms are more exact in dimensions and design. There are three different types of vertical looms although different versions of each type may exist: the Fixed Loom, the Tabriz Loom, and the Roller Beam Loom.

Fixed Loom

The weaver sits on an adjustable seat in front of the loom. The seat is raised as the rows of knots are added.

Tabriz Loom

The warp strands are wrapped around and behind the top and bottom bars instead of being secured to them. On this loom, as the work progresses, the woven section of the rug/carpet is pulled down and behind the loom. This way, the weavers do not have to move. These looms are used in the Azerbaijan province and in the cities of Arak, Qum and Hamadan.

Roller Beam Loom

The woven part of the rug or carpet  is rolled around the lower beam. With this kind of loom, very large size rugs can be woven. This loom is the traditional loom used in villages and is generally used for coarser weaves.

Horizontal Loom

Horizontal looms are the simplest type of loom, mostly used by nomadic weavers as they are easily dismantled at the time of migration. Rugs and carpets woven on horizontal looms are generally small because of the time constraints of the seasons and it is also difficult to weave large rugs on these kinds of looms. It is laid flat on the ground and secured by stakes or nails. The warp strands are usually very close to the ground. As the rug is woven and the rows of knots and wefts are added, the weavers sit on the woven part of the rug in order to reach the unwoven top parts. This type of loom is easy to dismantle with the unfinished rug in place allowing the weavers to carry it with them when it is time to migrate.


The cartoon is a coloured drawing of a rug or carpet on graph (squared) paper, which guides the weavers with both design and color. Usually each square represents a knot. For rugs and carpets that have symmetry in design, the plate usually illustrates one quarter of the rug/carpet. Famous artists and designers often draw the cartoons, which are mostly used in workshops and master workshops. Designs of smaller tribal rugs/carpets are usually woven from memory, often handed down from mother to daughter, teacher to pupil.

Knife, scissors, hook and comb

After completion of a row of knots and passing a strand of weft through the warps, the weft strand and the row of knots are beaten with a special comb. The comb is moved up and down through the warp strands, pressing the weft strand on top of the knots securing the knots in place. The knife is used to cut the yarn of the knot and scissors are used to cut the uneven pile after a few rows of knots have been woven. The weavers use the tip for separating the warp strands while tying a knot and then pulling out the yarn through the warp strands. The side of the hook, which works like a knife, is used for cutting the yarn after each knot is tied.