At the international conference on the history of hand looms and the various types of looms, at the China National Silk Museum in Hangzhou (China), on 31st May of this year, dr Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, director TRC, gave a talk on the zilu looms from Iran. She studied these enormous vertical looms beteeen 1998 and 2001 in Iran, and collected various examples of zilu floor coverings. These are characterized by the use of two colours, and designs that appear on both sides of the woven cloth. Technically, they are weft-faced compound tabby weaves, the history of which in Iran and the Midddle East goes back for at least two thousand years, but their origin may be placed in Central Asia or China. The lecture can be viewed here..