The actual Crafting of Oriental Rugs

The knotting of a rug is based on centuries of tradition. Thus, different knotting techniques have been developed across the different regions. Basically, four different knot types can be distinguished. The symmetrical Knot is robust and originates from the Turkish area. The asymmetrical knot allows a denser knotting and is also called Persian knot. There are also Jufti and Tibetan knots, but these are now called are less widespread.

An experienced knotter crafts 10,000 knots per day on average per day. The knotting itself is usually done by women working on their own loom at home. Thus, the crafting of a fine carpet with 500,000 knots per square meter and an area of 6 square meters (3x2m) takes about 300 working days. This gives an idea of the manual effort required for a handmade carpet. In this context Persian rugs are still very cheap. A comparable Nain 9La (3x2m) with almost 500,000 knots costs only slightly more than 3,000 € in sales (price reference: Nain Trading), despite its over 300 working days of production time.

Mann knüpft Perserteppich am Webstuhl

Knotting a rug - the pattern is visible only after the last step

The knotting density is an important indicator for the effort of a handmade carpet. It is measured per square metre and also provides information on the fineness and durability of a carpet. Very coarse carpets start at around 50,000 knots per square metre, while the finest carpets, such as Tabriz 70Raj, have a knot density well over 1,000,000 knots per square metre. Such pieces are made by highly experienced master knotters and are also interesting for collectors. The knot density of a carpet can be quickly estimated with the help of its reverse side. The number of knots is multiplied by one hundred over a length of one centimetre and then squared. The result is the approximate knot density per square meter. It should not be forgotten, however, that the number of knots can vary with knots running up and sideways and is not always the same across the carpet surface.

Knots per Square Meter (Square Feet):
Very Coarse 40.000-80.000 (3,716 -7,432)

Coarse 80.000-120.000 (7,432 - 11,148)
Medium 120.000-240.000 (11,148 - 22,297)
Somewhat Fine 240.000-360.000 (22,297 - 33,445)
Fine 360.000-500.000 (33,445 - 46,452)
Very Fine 500.000-1.000.000 (46,452 - 92,903)
Extraordinary Fine 1.100.000 (102,193) or higher

After knotting, the rug is finally cut by the loom and finished for the next step - trimming or polishing.

Rugs with a particularly high knot density

Here you will find a few examples of exclusive Persian rugs which were particularly elaborate in their knotting and with a knotting density exceeding 500,000 knots per square metre could only be made by experienced master knotters. Such pieces take more than a year to produce for a single weaver and therefore have a certain rarity value.

Frau webt Kelim am Webstuhl

Woman weaving kilim rugs - the pattern is immediately recognisable

Weaving a rug is fundamentally different from knotting. Kilim carpets, for example, are woven. It is believed that the first carpets were woven many hundreds of years ago, and that the first knotting techniques were developed on that basis later on. Woven rugs are much less elaborate than comparable knotted rugs. In addition, weaving only permits straight-line and geometric patterns, so that detailed figurative patterns are not can be achieved. Most woven rugs are much lighter and have a shorter lifespan.

Production in Detail

Production of Oriental Rugs
Centuries-old tradition is the basis of almost every Oriental rug. Long ago Persian rugs were already considered the highest luxury...
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Whether sheep wool, silk or cotton, the material of a hand-knotted oriental rug usually comes from nature...
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Colours and Dyeing
The colours of many high-quality oriental carpets still originate today from plants and minerals...
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No matter how detailed the pattern may be, some knotters still craft the rug from memory today...
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An art that has been perfected over many centuries and is still unrivalled today...
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After the actual knotting, the rug is far from finished...
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Comparison to machine-made Rugs
Colour facets, durability, level of detail are only a few of the differences to machine-made rugs...
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