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The technique of knotting rugs by hand rugs is an ancient art and a time-consuming process which, depending on the quality and size of the rug, may take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete.
To begin making a rug, a master weaver needs a foundation consisting of warps and wefts. Warps are strong, thick threads of cotton, wool or silk which run through the lenght of the rug. Similar threads which pass under and over the warps from one side to the other are called wefts.
Weaving normally begins from the bottom of the loom, by passing a number of wefts through the warps to form a base to start from. Knots of dyed wool, cotton or silk threads are then tied in rows around consecutive sets of adjacent warps. As more rows are tied to the foundation, these knots become the pile of the rug. Between each row of knots, one or more shots of weft are passed to keep the knots fixed. The wefts are then beaten down by a comb-like instrument, the comb beater, to further compact and secure the newly-woven row. Depending on the fineness of the weave, the quality of the materials and the expertise of the weavers, the knots count of a handmade rug can vary anywhere from 16 to 800 knots per square inch.
When the rug is completed, the warp ends form the fringes that may be weft-faced, braided, tasseled, or secured in other ways.
Persian knotting Tibetan knotting