Why Handmade Rugs
Hand-knotted rugs are exquisite artistic works, meticulously crafted by master weavers to ensure longevity and durability. Although more expensive than other types of rugs, handmade rugs are designed to last longer -oftentimes over 100 years- and their resistance to wear testifies to the exceptional craftsmanship that goes into each rug.
The craftsmanship and quality of handmade rugs are indisputable; because of their ability to age exceptionally well and the high caliber of traditional methods used during the manufacturing process, handmade rugs are a sound investment.
Oftentimes taking an average of a year to manufacture, one handmade area rug is a monumental achievement of home decor artistry, making it the perfect accent or centerpiece for your home that can be passed down for generations.
Once a year, when the wool is long, strong and high in oil content, it is trimmed off the sheep. Prepped primarily by women, the wool is then teased, opening up the fibers. Requiring exceptional time and skill, the wool is ready to be hand spun; approximately 5 lbs of yarn is produced per day by one person.
The yarn will then be pre-soaked to form a strong bond before it is immersed in a natural or synthetic dye. Even the dyeing process is an art; temperature and extent of time the yarn soaks in the dye will determine its color. Each batch of yarn can yield different colors, making it difficult to match natural color dyes. Conversely, synthetic dyes can be easily reproduced and matched to assure consistency. Color dyeing softens the wool and allows the rug to be in direct sunlight without excessive fading.
A detailed, hand painted design/blueprint is developed as a guide for the rug to be woven on the loom. Prepping the loom requires thousands of cotton strings to be lined out, used as the backing for the rug.
Traditional weaving techniques have been documented for nearly 3,000 years. The specific type of knotting method used--such as a Persian or Turkish knot--correlates directly to a certain region or ethnic group. After several rows have been weaved, the excess wool is trimmed, and the meticulous process repeats again. Creating one 9’x12’ rug with four weavers steadily working may take up to one year to complete, requiring over 2.5 million hand-tied knots.
After the fully woven rug is cut from the loom, it must undergo several more adjustments. The loom leaves the knots loose and every knot must be repositioned to make the rug proportional and square. Similar to the weaving process, it requires meticulous craftsmanship. The corners of the rug can be now be woven on to ensure the rug is square and lies flat.
The rug is subsequently washed, performed in a symbolic manner, bringing life into the rug and ensuring its longevity. This process may be repeated multiple times. The rug is then set out to dry.
Lastly, the rug is trimmed to a consistent height and combed out, eradicating any loose fibers. Due to shrinkage during the washing process, the rug is stretched out over the course of a few days and it eventually expands to the correct size.