Weft beater

Weft beater

Weft beater
Central Asia
100-300 AD
Wood
Length 24.2 cm x width 9 cm
Museum no. LOAN:STEIN.530 (N.XIII.iii.003)
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
On loan from Government of India and the Archaeological Survey of India

Several weft beaters or wooden combs have been discovered at the Niya and Mazar-toghrak sites in Khotan and neighbouring Loulan. These would have been used to beat down the weft when weaving woollen textiles such as tapestries, rugs or carpets. There was a thriving rug making industry in Khotan, as shown by the frequent mention of Khotanese rugs and carpets in contemporary documents. We also know that carpets and rugs were used in the local currency system, for example could a nice carpet pay for a camel or even a woman.