Rug Knowledge – Hand Made Rugs
How it’s made;
Just as an architect needs a blueprint, the weaver must also have a plan as to how the finished rug should look. (Rug Knowledge) The most commonly used technique, cartoon mapping, is a full–scale graph paper chart that tells the weaver what color each knot needs to be. Each tiny square represents one knot. For rugs that have symmetry in design, the plate is usually illustrated for quarter of the rug. Famous artists and designers often draw the cartoons, which are mostly used in workshops and master workshops.
Content & Dyeing:
With highly vibrant and radiant colors, contemporary Tibetan rugs are very desirable works of art. Tibetan weavers have been crafting rugs for centuries and the process has remained the same. Raw wool is washed and sorted, then spun by hand into yarn and dyed. The century’s old dyeing process used by a master dyer, who pays careful and close attention so that each batch of dyed yarn remains even and color fast.
The process of weaving Tibetan rugs is unique, distinctive and different from knotting techniques used in other rug making cultures. Our Tibetan rugs are woven on a vertical loom. Executed by highly skilled master weavers, this weaving process is meticulous and requires a tremendous amount of patience.
Washing & Finishing (Wash & Stretch):
After the handmade rug has been removed from the loom by a master finisher and then trimmed for a final time, it must be washed. The rug is drenched in water, soap and vinegar, beaten with wooden paddles and then combed to remove the excess dyes and loose fibers. The use of soap and vinegar enhances the softness of the pile, sheen and colors. Then the rug is laid flat to dry in the sun. Handmade rugs aren’t straight when they come off the loom. After the washing process is done, the stretching process will make the rug as perfect and straight as possible. Finishing touches trim and remove extra unfinished fibers. This process enhances the texture and tunes up the look. – Hand Made Rugs
Accidents always happen, whether someone drops a plate of spaghetti, a glass of red wine or a cup of coffee. Always have a bottle of plain soda water available. The bubbles in soda water dilute and lift the stain and work well on most stains if applied immediately. Lightly dampen a white cloth with soda water and gently massage the stained area from the outer edges in, rubbing in a circular motion. Make sure that your cleaning cloth is only lightly dampened. Excessive moisture can damage your rug. Stains that have been allowed to dry can often be much more difficult to deal with. However mud and blood, when dried, can often be simply brushed away. For rugs place on carpeting, do not conduct any cleaning and/or maintenance prior to removing the rug from the carpet and do not return the rug until completely dry. Applying moisture to the rug while still on the wall–to–wall carpet could cause the colors in both the rug and carpeting to react to each other.
Uric acid is acid found in urine and it bleaches colors, destroys wool and other fibers. When your pet or baby has an accident, wash the stain at least three times with plain soda water as directed above, blotting the stained area with a white towel each time. Then apply a cleaning solution made from baby shampoo (or any shampoo that doesn’t contain bleach) and white vinegar at a ratio of one teaspoon of vinegar per pint of shampoo. Test the rug first in a small area to ensure color safety. Rinse well with clean water, brushing the pile with a medium brush and air–drying thoroughly with cool air. For large areas needing cleaning, professional services are recommended.
Oriental Rug History:
Defining The Oriental Rug
By the strictest definition, Oriental rugs are handmade carpets that come from the “Orient,” meaning from Asia and other Eastern Regions. Iran, China, India, Russia, Turkey, Pakistan, Tibet and Nepal are some of the biggest rug exporters of fine Oriental carpets. Persian rugs also are Oriental rugs but they are made only in Iran, formerly known as Persia. Characteristics of a Persian rug include an unusually thick pile (up to 160 knots per square inch), bold color combinations, unique designs and a very distinct knot.
Persian carpets are traditionally known for their tremendous variety in design, color, size, and weave. Their handmade qualities and unique weaving process make every rug a one of a kind work of art. The rugs are generally named after the village, town or tribe where the carpet was woven or collected.
History of The Oriental Rug
The art of carpet weaving existed in ancient Iran, according to scientific evidence. The 500 B.C. Pazyryk carpet dates back to the Achaemenid period. The first documented evidence on the existence of Persian carpets came from Chinese texts dating back to the Sassanid period (224 – 641 CE).
Historical records show that the Achaemenian court of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae was adorned with magnificent carpets from wall to wall. The collection was so vast and visually stunning that Alexander II of Macedonia was said to have been dazzled by the carpets in the tomb area of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae.
The advanced weaving technique used in the Pazyryk carpet indicates a long history of evolution and experience in this art. Pazyryk carpet is considered as the oldest carpet in the world. Its central field is a deep red color and it has two wide borders, one depicting deer and the other Persian horseman. However, it is believed that the carpet from Pazyryk is not likely a nomadic product, but a product of an Achaemenid carpet production center. By the sixth century, Persian wool and silk carpets were renowned in royal courts throughout the Middle East for their fine craftsmanship and brilliant colorways.
Contructing an Oriental Rug
Dyes: The natural dyes in an Oriental rug are derived from plant materials and insects such as indigo, madder, oak, sumac, pomegranate, cochineal and larkspur. Before the 1870s, they were the only source used to dye wool. Since the invention of synthetic dyes, there has been much debate about which type of dye produces a more beautiful and investment-worthy rug. Natural dyes tend to gently fade with time and therefore produce a much sought after patina.
Weaves and knots: Most consumers know about “counting knots” to discern a high quality rug from others. Below you will find procedures and tips to counting knots, please be advised. The simple counting of knots is not a true test, but merely a guideline. The actual knot count needs to take into consideration the material used in the individual rug. – Hand Made Rugs
A consumer needs to consider the entire carpet, the design, the dyes, the material used, as well as the emotional value they receive from a rug. If you purchase your carpet from a reputable dealer, then the only thing the average consumer needs to know is if they appreciate the appearance of the carpet and if the carpet fits into their budget.
Knot density (knots per square inch) is an important indicator of rug quality. Most weaves are measured simply by counting the number of knots per linear inch along the warp (i.e., along the length of the rug) and the number of knots per linear inch along the weft (across the width of the rug) and multiplying to get the number of knots per square inch (or per sq. cm.). This simple concept can be tricky to apply in practice.
How do you know when to count one bump on the back of the rug as one knot? It’s easy… Look carefully at the individual areas of color across the width of the back of the rug. If you only see colored elements in pairs, you need to count each pair as one knot. If you see lots of single colored elements, the rug has offset warps and each element should be counted as one knot. Many authentic rugs from Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran show both knot elements on the back of the rug, as do Bokharas from Pakistan. Most rugs from India and China have strongly offset warps, and show only one knot element on the back of the rug.