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Best Quality Hand Knotted From India
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Lot of time and labour go into the making of Hand-knotted rugs, and hence such rugs become costly. The weaver makes all knots individually which also make the item unique and strong, when compared to other types. Generally, 50 to 160 knots are made per square inch, while some have 400 knots a square inch; in such a case, an artisan will take more than a year for completing a 9x12 rug.
Chiefly, silk, wool and cotton are the staple materials used for manufacture of Hand-knotted rugs, with wool among them being the most preferred choice. When wool is used, local wools are mixed with New Zealand and South Korean wools owing to their rich lanolin content; and this gives them the much needed extra sheen, strength and pliability.
Silk is very costly, and also not strong; so it’s used only for accent. And, cotton is used in the underside, not appearing on the pile. But all these materials combine, forming a strong hand- knotted rug.
Testing a silk rug:
Where the price is not high, might be, it’s made of rayon or cotton. When a thread from the rug is taken out and burnt, a burning hair smell will come in the case of a real silk, while a paper burning odour will come out for rayon or cotton.
Being sturdy, hand-knotted rugs are best-suited for use in high traffic locations, where they serve for 20+ years. Such high traffic areas are entryway, hallway and family room. And their life will still be higher when they are used in medium traffic rooms like dining room and home office, and low traffic areas such as living and bedrooms.
When the loom is ready, vertical (warp) threads which ultimately turn out fringes of the rugs, are tied to the loom. The weft, going horizontally weaves with the warp forming the foundation of the rug. It also forms edges holding the rug in its form. The knots, woollen or silky are now tied to the warp threads. The knots are then cut with a knife, and the weaver ties the knot with hands, completing the process by tightening the knots securely using a comb- like tool. Tying one knot takes roughly two seconds for a seasoned weaver.
Hand carving, also called embossing involves cutting off areas of the pile to form three- dimensional look, in turn highlighting the rug’s design. Being a skilled work, it can be done only by experienced weavers.
Rugs, looms and tools:
Different rugs are produced with different looms. While factories employ vertical looms for rugs, horizontal looms produce country or nomadic rugs. For producing straight rugs, a good quality loom will suffice.
When weaving, a weaver uses only a hooked knife to pick up the yarn behind the warp threads and pass it on to the front. Then, the weaver tightens the rows of knots together with a comb, and cuts the threads at the back of the rugs uniformly using a scissor. Experience says that a skilled weaver could tie as many as one thousand knots in an hour.
Knots and patterns:
Two different types of knots are followed for making Hand-knotted rugs, with each very much depending on the region and the traditions handed down by generations. In all, Persian knot is the one, adopted by most countries for weaving rugs.
The weaving industry has a cartoon for guiding weavers for proper understanding of the pattern, and color of each knot. Drawn as per scale, each square indicates one knot. Another alternative is to have a talim card, where one exclusive person will be made to read out the color and number of knots to a band of weavers. One can follow either, but experienced persons will seldom need any such guidance.
Also called Senneth knot, Persian knot is asymmetrical, and open to one side. Less bulky than Turkish knots, most suitable for easily making curvilinear or floral patterns, these knots leave no gaps. Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Tibet and China are using these Persian knots in their rugs.
This type is symmetrical as distinct from Persian knot. Also known as Ghiordes knot, it is marked with two little bumps or nodes in one knot on the back of the rug (hence called as double knot). Countries that follow Turkish knot for their rugs are Turkey, North western Iran, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Jufti knot (False knots):
It’s either Persian or Turkish in nature, where the weaver, as a short cut, ties the knot around four warp threads as against the normal two. Labour time taken for a Jufti knot rug is only about half the normal time; and hence the cost is also less. But, since its durability is found to be less, it is not generally recommended for use.
Knot density and rugs’ value:
Knots per square inch (knot density), which range from 40 to 2000 speak for the value of rugs. The more the knots, the more the value. Knot density 160 is supposed to be very good, 400 as extraordinary, and 1000 and more very rare. The best way to count and know the number of knots is by seeing the colors. In case of single colored nodes, count each node as one knot, and if colored nodes appear in pairs, then count two nodes as one knot.
Merits and demerits:
Highly long-lasting, serving through generations, hand-knotted rugs are a proud asset to the family.
The downside is that hand-knotted rugs are pricy; and, coming with many qualities and materials, determining their age and real position is not that easy.
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