Carpet is a sort of stuff wrought with the needle, or on a loom, and forms the ordinary furniture of a house, being commonly laid upon the floor. The Persian and Turkey carpets have hitherto been in the greatest esteem, but some of the manufacturers of France and Great Britain are making rapid advances in imitating them, to which they are, in some respects, superior. A splendid example of this fine spirit of rivalry amongst our own countrymen is now exhibiting at the Museum of National Manufactures and of the Mechanical Arts, in Leicester Square, London. The carpet measures 8 yards by 6, and is called Scoto-Persian by the manufacturers, Messrs. Deans, of Stewarton, in Ayrshire. In the usual mode of weaving carpets, the design or pattern is traced in its proper colours on cartoons, tied before the workman, who looks at them every moment, because every stitch is marked upon them as it is to be in his work. By this means he always knows what colours and shades he is to use, and how many stitches of the same colour.
In this he is assisted by squares, into which the whole design is divided; each square is divided into ten vertical lines, corresponding with the parcels of ten threads of the warp; and besides, each square is ruled with ten horizontal lines crossing the vertical lines at right angles. The workman having placed his spindles of thread near him, begins to work on the first horizontal line of one of the squares. The lines marked in the cartoon are not traced on the warp, because an iron wire, which is longer than the width of a parcel of ten threads, supplies the place of a cross line. This wire is managed by a crook at one end, at the workman's right hand; towards the other end it is flatted into a sort of knife with a back and edge, and grows wider at the point. The weaver fixes his wire horizontally on the warp, by twisting some turns of a suitable thread of the woof around it, which he passes forward and backward behind a fore thread of the warp, and then behind the opposite thread, drawing them in their turn by their leashes. Afterwards, he brings the woof-thread round the wire in order to begin again to thrust it into the warp. He continues in this manner to cover the iron rod or wire, and to fill up a line to the tenth thread of the warp.
He is at liberty either to stop here, or to go on with the same cross line in the next division, according as he passes the thread of the woof round the iron wire, and into the warp, the threads of which he causes to cross one another at every instant; when he comes to the end of the line he takes care to strike in the woof he has used. This row of stitches is again closed and levelled, and in the same manner the weaver proceeds; then with his left hand he lays a strong pair of shears along the finished line, cuts off the loose hairs, and thus forms a row of tufts perfectly even, which, together with those before and after it, form the shag. Thus the workman follows, stitch for stitch and colour for colour, the plan of his pattern, which he is attempting to imitate; and he paints magnificently without having he least notion of painting or drawing.