Overview of Hand-Knotted Persian Rugs
With their elaborate patterns, amazing weaving techniques and outstanding craftsmanship, Persian rugs have firmly cemented their top position as the most coveted rugs around the world. There’s no denying that Persian rugs are the most exquisite type of floor coverings. Some pieces are so extraordinary that they are even used to adorn walls.
Basically all Persian rugs come under three main categories depending on where they are woven, with each category having its own distinct traits. At the one end you have the rustic, rugged rugs woven by tribal weavers and at the other end are the sleeker, satiny, town-woven rugs.
Traditional Hand Knotted Persian Rugs
With more sophisticated looms and easier access to better quality dyes and other materials, tradtional Persian rugs are of the finest quality. The weave is much more consistent and the weavers use more refined techniques that allow them to produce rugs with a higher knot density than tribal or village weavers. The designs, patterns and colors used are also more intricate and complex and so are the borders that are woven in.
The finished rugs have a sleek, lush look, which makes them the preferred choice especially among royal families. Nain rugs, Tabriz rugs, Sarouk rugs and Kashan rugs are some of the town rugs that are most commonly seen.
Village Persian Rugs
The looms used in weaving village rugs are slightly more sophisticated than the ones used by the tribal rug weavers. This is because the more stable lifestyle of these weavers means once the loom is set up, it never needs to be moved. Better looms allow for more intricacy in the patterns and designs as well as more consistency in the shape of the rugs. The weaving techniques used are also quite different.
Village weavers also experiment with a wider assortment of dyes and introduced new colors into their patterns, with the result that these village rugs are more colorful and elaborate as compared to their tribal counterparts. In addition to the basic red and blue shades, these rugs also feature different shades of gold, yellow and beige. Bijar, Heriz and Sarab are some of the more common Village Persian rugs.
Tribal Persian Rugs
These are rugs woven by nomadic tribals who move from one place to another in search of greener pastures for their sheep to graze on. Because of their nomadic lifestyle, the weavers use basic kinds of loom that are easy to dismantle and just as easy to set up at their new destination. This constant rigging up and rigging down of the loom affects the consistency of the weave as well as the ‘stretch’ of the wool and the end result is usually a rug that has an inconsistent weave and an irregular shape. However, instead of detracting from their overall value, these irregularities only add the appeal of these rugs.
Another distinctive trait of tribal rugs is that they are woven using yarn that is relatively coarse. The coarseness of the yard does not necessarily mean the finished rugs would be of poor quality. It is simply different and gives the rugs their typical rugged texture and rustic look. Some of the more popular among the tribal rugs include Qashqai rugs, Baluchi rugs and Bakhtiari rugs.
Hand knotted Persian rugs are the best quality rugs you can purchase. These are superior to machine-made rugs in terms of looks, durability, and value. If you are looking for a hand knotted Persian rug, here are a few things you should know.
How Are Hand Knotted Persian Rugs Made?
As we said earlier, creating hand knotted rugs can be labor intensive. Skilled weavers tie one knot at a time to create elaborate and colorful designs. The knots are inserted into the foundation of the rug, which then makes up the pile of the rug.
The more intricate and colorful the design of the rug, the longer it takes to complete. Rugs with higher knot count also take longer time to complete because the weaver has to make more knots for that same area as compared to rugs with a lower knot count.
How To Tell If A Rug Is Hand Knotted
Knowing how to tell if a rug is hand knotted is super important so you don’t get duped by spurious sellers. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to determine if the rug you’re looking at is hand knotted.
1. Turn the rug upside down and take a look at the back of the rug. If the weaving and knots seem to be uneven and irregular, the rug is hand-woven. This is because it’s impossible to replicate every knot perfects by hand. Compare this to machine-made rugs that have a smooth, even and perfect underside.
2. Check the fringes of the rug. In machine-made rugs, the fringes are sewn on to the edges of the finished rug. In hand knotted rugs, the fringe is an extension of the main body of the rug. Weavers just let the extra threads on as a fringe when they complete each side of the rug. This forms a natural fringe. Hand knotted rugs will never have a fringe sewn or glued on to its edges.
3. Look for irregularities in the design of the rug. These are a sign that the rug has been hand knotted. They lend character and authenticity to the finished piece. Machine made rugs are usually flawless.
How Long Does Hand Knotted Rugs Last
A hand knotted rug that’s properly maintained and cared for will last for generations while still retaining its original good looks. The key to keeping your hand knotted rug looking good for years is to make sure that it is regularly cleaned the correct way. This is particularly important for rugs that are placed in high traffic areas.
Are Hand Knotted Rugs Expensive?
Yes, hand-knotted rugs are the more expensive than their machine made counterparts and for good reason too. Unlike machine made rugs that are created quickly by automated machines, making a hand knotted rug is a time-consuming process. Depending on the size and the complexity of design, it can take a weaver to weeks or even months to create one rug. This is one of the main reasons behind their higher cost.
The exact cost of the rug depends on the type and quality of material used and the knot count. A silk rug is more expensive than a wool rug. Rugs with higher knot counts are also more expensive because of the time it takes to make each knot, one at a time.