THE ART OF HANDMAKING
The production of oriental rugs is achieved by one of two methods. They are either hand woven and knotted or mass produced by machinery. Pieces that are woven and knotted by hand require a vast amount of skill and time, while those made by machine can be rapidly and cheaply produced. Because mass-produced machine-made rugs lack the character and individuality of those which are handmade, it is the craftsmanship of highly accomplished weavers that we will explore here.
Cotton threads are stretched vertically from one end of a loom to the other, (these are called warps) are passed alternately over and under the warps to create a flat-weave rug. If strands of yarn are knotted around each warp thread while the rug is being woven, a pile rug is created. It is this pile that provides both the thickness and the pattern of an oriental rug. The fineness and quality of each rug is determined by factors such as the number of knots per square foot, (the knot density).As the knot density increases, more intricate designs and greater detail can be achieved. Also, the more knots per square foot there are, the shorter the pile yarns can be cut. Hence, the highest quality rugs are those with fine patterns and thin piles.
The quality of oriental rugs is also determined by the type of wool used in their construction. The region of origin of the wool is an important determinate of its texture and appearance. Although many countries produce good quality wool, the wool from New Zealand is considered the industry's best. We sincerely hope that you too will appreciate the beauty of handmade carpets, as you look forward to handing them down for your next generation to enjoy.