Hand Knotted Oriental Rugs
Urban 57 Home Décor Interior Design
Rug Store in Sacramento, CA
The highest quality rugs generally fall into the category of hand knotted. The hand knotted rug begins with a series of foundation fibers that are stretched out on a loom. These fibers become the two edges of the rug known as the fringe. The vertical foundation fibers are called the “warp.” While the foundation is typically made of cotton thread, the knots are usually of wool, although silk or cotton may also appear, sometimes as accents in the pattern or on their own.
A typical handmade knotted rug created with wool contains fifty to 160 knots per square inch. A master rug maker might squeeze up to 400 knots into the same square inch. With the thinner fibers of silk, this number can approach one thousand knots per square inch! Even at fifty knots per square inch, you can now imagine why it takes a long time to produce a large rug by hand. In many countries, rug making is a family affair for this very reason — the added hands make the work go faster.
After each row of knots is completed, another foundation fiber is woven horizontally below and above the warps. This is called the “weft” and it holds the knots in place on the warps. When the rug is complete, the warps are securely tied, holding the whole rug together. You can thus see why it is very important to treat the fringe with great respect. Never vacuum or pull out your fringe strings — they literally hold your rug together! Besides the choice of pattern, the number of warps for each knot (one or two) and the style of knot are all used to determine the likely country of origin for hand knotted rugs, perhaps even the sector of a particular country, as these techniques tend to be distinctive.
A well-constructed wool hand knotted rug can easily last for a lifetime or longer. Examples found in some Persian tombs date to centuries before our common era. When you invest in a hand knotted rug and care for it properly, you are purchasing a durable good that can hold its value and remain in your family for generations to come. Kamran’s Oriental Rug Bazaar specializes in the finest hand knotted rugs. Please come see our Sacramento store at 737 56th Street for examples of antique and new hand knotted rugs.