Shrub that produces a crimson-colored spice

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Last seen on: NY Times Crossword 26 Jul 20, Sunday

Random information on the term “SUMAC”:

Soumak (also spelled Soumakh, Sumak, Sumac, or Soumac) is a tapestry technique of weaving strong and decorative textiles used as rugs and domestic bags. Baks used for bedding are known as Soumak Mafrash. Soumak is a type of flat weave, somewhat resembling but stronger and thicker than kilim, with a smooth front face and a ragged back, where kilim is smooth both sides. Soumak lacks the slits characteristic of kilim, as it is usually woven with supplementary weft threads as continuous supports.

The technique involves wrapping coloured weft threads over and under the warp threads, adding strength and embroidery-like pattern.

The technique of making a soumak involves wrapping wefts over a certain number of warps (usually 4) before drawing them back under the last two warps. The process is repeated from selvedge to selvedge. The wefts are discontinuous; the weaver selects coloured threads in turn, and wraps each within the area which is to have that particular colour. Unlike kilim, the back is left ragged, with all the loose ends of the differently-coloured weft threads visible, sometimes several inches long, providing extra thickness and warmth. Also unlike kilim, there are no slits where colours meet, as there is a supplementary or structural weft which supports the coloured pattern weft. Some late Soumaks made by the Kurds are however “weftless”, lacking the structural weft support, and the stitches naturally overlap.

SUMAC on Wikipedia