This is a quick guide that explains the steps in producing a hand knotted oriental rugs and carpets. The material used in rug- making have changed little over the centuries. Warps and wefts are still made from traditional materials, such as cotton, wool, silk or goat/camel hair .The pile too continuous to be either wool or silk ,although cotton is occasionally used.
The steps for manufacturing a good quality hand-knotted oriental rug are as follows:
Step 1. Procurement of the wool
The process of rug making starts by shearing the sheep and obtaining the wool. The wool is then cleaned and scoured to take the dust and grease. The silk is taken from silkworms in case of silk rug.
Step 2. Spinning of the wool
The wool used in hand knotted rugs can be of two type
1.Hand spun wool:
This is done in a traditional way by using the spindle S pinning . S pinning the wool by hand is a long and tedious process’ however it makes a big difference in the look and feel of the hand-knotted rug.
2.Machine spun wool:
spun this is done by using a machine generally known as spinning wheel through machine .This is obviously faster but by use of machine spun wool, the quality of the rug will be not as good as hand spun wool.
Step 3. Dyeing the wool with natural colors
Once the raw wool has been spun to obtain yarn, it will be dyed in various colors needed for that particular rug
There are two kind of dyes:
• Natural dyes :
traditional way of dyeing wool/silk uses natural plants, flowers, some insects or roots of plant.
Is very long and tedious process to dye the /silk with natural colors. Persian people they have hundreds of old secret recipes to dye wool/silk, which they pass on to their generations and not to anybody else.
• Chemical dyes:
these are easily available from the bazar. German and French companies are producing good chemical dyes, however rug having wool/silk using natural dyes are far more good long lasting compared to rug with chemically dyed wool/silk.
Step 4. Preparing the loom
The oriental rugs are made on a loom. There are two types of looms.
•The hotizontal loom
The horizontal loom is the most loom employed in rug production. This is remarkably simple consisting four pegs and two parallel wooden crossbeams are laid out on the ground. Horizontal loom is widely used by nomads, who are constantly on the move. This type of loom is easy to dismantle and transport with unfinished rug, as nomads are at constant move in search of new Pastures for their kattles and camels.
• The Vertical Loom:
The vertical loom is a more sophisticated version of the horizontal loom. The vertical loom has two fixed parallel wooden or steel uprights, into which crossbeams are slotted. large and extra-large city carpets are on vertical loom. This is fairly large in size and several weavers can work side by side.
Step 5. Knotting the rug
There are two types of knots are for piled rugs and carpets.
•Turkish or Ghiordes knot:
This knot is used throughout Turkey except in Sivas, Sparta and some Hereke workshops. Some tribes of Turkish origin living in Southern Persia also use the Turkish knot. In Turkish knot, the yarn is wrapped around two warp stands and then the two ends are looped around the warp strands and drawn back out to protrude between the strands,free ends form the tuft of the pile. In Persian knot the yarn is wound around one warp strand.
•Persian or Senneh Knot:
This knot is used widely throughout central and E astern Persia, India Pakistan and Central Asia. The pair of free ends form the tuft of the pile .In the Persian knot is wound around one warp strand.
Step 6. Clipping and trimming the pile
Once the rug is finished it will be taken off from the loom. The pile will then be trimmed using special scissors in order to have a homogeneous length of pile.
Step 7. Washing the rug
It takes from one to ten years to make one fine quality carpet depending on the size density of knots and size. The material used over a period of time get dirty .It needs washing in order to bring out the dirt and to make it soft. Finally it is dried in the natural sun light for use.