How Fine Hand

When you walk across fine handmade rugs, we like to think of it as walking on art. A great deal of effort goes into making fine handmade rugs, but why consider buying a handmade rug when machine-made rugs are so cheap and readily available? To a rug craftsman, that’s like asking “Why have an artist paint a canvas instead of just having a machine mass produce an image?” The end result is just not the same.

Here is how hand-knotted rugs are constructed. The design is drawn on paper and this image is called a “Nakshah”, which means a map, because that image is followed to create the design in the rug. Then the yarn is dyed after estimating how much of what color will be needed. These spools of yarn are usually tied on top of the loom allowing the weaver to pull on the color needed to tie the knots.

The foundation of the rug is created that is usually cotton, and in some cases wool or silk. These threads are tied vertically in tight rows called warps. The warps are secured with rows of the same material tied horizontally called wefts, and are inter woven with the warps. Then the weaver starts the design of the rug by tying knots on a couple of the warps and the design is made by switching the color of the yarn. The width of the rug determines how many weavers can weave a rug together: a room size rug will usually have 5 or 6 weavers work sitting side by side, while a small rug will have only one.

How many knots are in a rug? That depends on the size, the skill of the weaver and the material.

Silk rugs can achieve the highest knot counts because the material is so fine. Expert weavers can incorporate 100 to 400 knots per inch in wool rugs, and 300 to 800 knots per inch in pure silk rugs. Commonly, hand-knotted rugs will have 50 to 150 knots per square inch. Even small or round area rugs will incorporate hundreds of thousands of knots. For example, a 7×9 area rug with a knot count of 100 would have more than 900,000 knots! The average weaver can do about 10,000 knots per day, so a 7×9 area rug would take a weaver about three months to complete.

Why Buy Fine Hand-Knotted Rugs?

There are other types of handmade rugs that are faster and cheaper, but hand-knotting produces the highest quality and longest lasting rugs. Fine hand-knotted rugs with proper care can easily last for 50 to 100 years. Fine hand-knotted rugs clean easily, age beautifully, and retain and sometimes even appreciate in value over time. To top it all off, there is no decor more luxurious looking than fine handmade rugs on hard surfaces.

Of course, opting for hand-knotted rugs also means you are adding a piece of art to your decor that is unique. Even if a weaver creates a similar design to the one in your home, the exact placement of each fiber and the tension of each knot can never be replicated. You will have art that is truly unique.

Our rug outlet in Scottsdale only stocks fine hand-knotted rugs. Visit our online gallery or come in person to our showroom to discover the next addition to your home decor.

By Allison Edrington.

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