What is a Soumak?
Soumak (Soumakh, Sumak) Rugs are a type of Oriental rug belonging to the family of flat weaves. The technique of making a soumak involves wrapping wefts over four warps before drawing them back under the last two warps. The process is repeated from selvedge to selvedge. Soumaks tend to be finely woven, and although not as durable as piled carpets, they are stronger than kilims.
They are made in the Caucasus, southern Persia and Anatolia, by the Shahsavan tribe in north-western Persia, and very rarely, by the Baloch on the Persia/Afghanistan border. Sizes vary, from carpet format to tiny tribal domestic bags. Unlike the kilim, which is usually reversible, weft strands on the underside of a soumakh may be left uncut several inches long, possibly in order to provide extra warmth.