Handknotted Rugs

Handknotted rugs mean that an individual skilled weaver had tied every knot on the rug in a pattern. In this way, a one-of-a-kind unique handmade rug is created. That is what makes hand-knotted rugs so special, and that is what makes them so much more expensive than all other types of area rugs.

Depending on how many knots are in each square meters, it can take more than a year for one weaver to complete a 9×12 rug.

What materials are used in HandKnotted Rugs?

A handknotted rug has three primary materials; wool, silk and cotton.

  • Wool is the most used material in this style. Local wools are mostly used because they have more lanolin, that adds brightness, strength and suppleness.
  • Silk is used primarily for accent because it is not as strong and is more expensive.
  • Cotton is sometimes used in the foundation part of the rug, but is not seen in the pile. The combination of these materials makes an extremely strong rug.

If the price of a silk rug sounds too easy to reach, the rug is probably made of cotton or rayon. You have to be aware of the product and so you can ask the rug merchant to pull a strand of thread from the rug and burn. If it’s silk, it will smell like burning hair. Burned rayon and cotton will smell like burned paper.

Handknotted rugs can stand for long years, and will begin to wear out after 20 or more years of use. You can easily use them in hallways, family rooms or entryways. Medium used areas include the dining room and office. Low used areas include bedrooms and formal living rooms.

handknotted rugs loom

The HandKnotted Rug Process

When the loom is set up, the warp (or vertical) threads are tied on the loom. These are the threads that become the fringe of the handknotted rug. The weft runs horizontally and intertwines with the warp to create the foundation of the rug. The weft also creates the selvedges (or edges) of the rug, which hold the rug together. The knots, made of wool or silk, are then tied to the warp threads. The weaver uses a knife (or a hook) to cut the knot, ties the knot with his or her hands, and finishes the process by securing and tightening the knot with a comb-like tool. An experienced weaver can tie one knot every two seconds.

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