Knotting is an art.
Depending on how extensive the carpet size, design and pattern is, a fine hand-knotted carpet can take months to complete. The finest cotton, silk and wool are used in the making of a hand knotted rug. The weaver uses a hooked knife to cut the knot, and then ties the knot with his or her hands, and finishes the process by securing and tightening the rows of knots together with a comb-like tool. A scissors is also used to clip the threads evenly on the back of the rug. An experienced weaver can tie one thousand knots per hour and one knot every two seconds. This speed is picked up over a span of time. A carpet can be knotted by a single person or in a group on a vertical loom depending on the size of the carpet. There are different kinds of knots that are used to construct a hand-knotted rug. The type of knot used depends largely on the region and how the tradition was passed through the generations. Most countries weave rugs using the Persian knot. There are various kinds of knots, to name a few: Ghiordes, senneh, Tibetan and jufti. The knots are beaten down to ensure the carpet pile is compact. Hand-knotting is the most intricate and labour-intensive carpet weaving process in use today. It requires good hand eye coordination, dexterity of hand, a steady temperament and most of all, a little soul. There is a distinct artistic harmony to this skill, which seems to bind the soul of the weaver to the rug. This is why each rug holds an individuality that is difficult to reproduce ever again. Now you know why a knotted rug takes much longer to create and are more expensive than other types of rugs.
The hand-knotting process is spellbinding. One cannot take their eyes off of the rhythmic movement of the weaver’s fingers. Once the loom is set up, the vertical threads are tied on to the loom which are called warp. Warps are usually made of cotton, providing an ideal surface for a flat, straight rug. These threads eventually become the fringe of the rug. The weaver secures the warps by arranging horizontal rows called wefts and intertwines the warp to create the foundation of the rug. The weft is ordinarily made of cotton, wool or silk. The weft also creates the edges of the rug, which holds the rug together. This way knot by knot, inch by inch, the weaver works meticulously till the pattern is complete. A colour change in the pattern means a new thread, a new starting point.
The columns of threads are called warp which is vertically stitched on the loom. Warp is mostly in cotton. The weavers make designs which are called weft. The weft is of wool, silk, cotton, chenille etc.
After creating about ten wefts the weavers work fast. Using a piece of wool or silk, they take one or two warp in the same row and tie knots around them. The ends of knots called piles. Weavers work knots by knots until the pattern is complete. This is the most intricate weaving process. These carpets have very high durability due to knots and weaving technique. Hand-knotted carpets are very exclusive and also expensive as compare to all rug.
The warp and weft are the basic constituents of all textiles, and are often referred to as foundation of a rug. The warp describes the strands of material that run length ways from the top to the bottom of a rug and form the fringes at the ends; the weft runs width ways and forms the selvedges, or sides.
Tools. Weaving tools consist of a knife, a beating, comb, and shears. These may vary a little in size and construction, and individual weavers may have several slightly different versions of each, but they are always basically the same.
Knife. Used to cut the threads of the pile and foundation material; it usually has a hook on the end of the blade to assist in the formation of the knot.
Beating Comb. Consists of a series of metal blades which are splayed to form a set of sharp teeth. It is used to tighten, or beat, the threads of the weft against the line of knots tied around the warp strings, ensuring the compactness of the rug.
Shears. Used to clip the pile to an even level once the weaving has been completed.
There are two types of knots are for piled rugs and carpets.
- 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.
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.