Whether you are an antique area rug aficionado and you are contemplating the thought of investing in some new rugs, or you are a fine rug collector interested in understanding the exact work that goes into creating such a masterpiece, read on. This mini-guide into rug weaving will introduce you to the captivating world of area rug weavers and the incredible skill and experience behind this ancient process.
Unlike mass-produced rugs that are manufactured with the help of specialized rug machines, the artisanship and skill put into a single rug at a time by expert rug weavers from different parts of the world bring add incredible value and authenticity to the rugs. It takes many years for a rug weaver to master this trade, but the end result is oftentimes mesmerizing to look at and the main reason why you might choose to buy such a rug to begin with.
What is Rug Weaving?
Rug weaving is also known as area rug making and it is an old technique that refers to making new rugs and carpets by hand. It is a one-of-a-kind craft that has been around for many centuries. Historians have discovered lots of archaeological specimens dating back two and a half millennia ago, including the interesting Pazyryk rug, which only comes to prove the genuine interest that weavers used to show in making these rugs since ancient times.
A hand-made rug features a specific built-in value that automatically makes it superior to machine-made carpeting. The type and amount of labor invested in these rugs are a lot more important and also more expensive, as it always brings about a certain degree of expectancy in terms of quality.
Rug weaving involves the weavers making an impressive number of decisions and thousands of different twisting and turning moves meant to give the new rug its personality, style, unique charm and beautiful aesthetics. This is something that a machine-made rug is not able to reproduce, no matter how fine of a rug it might be able to create.
What Kind of Materials Are Used For Rug and Carpet Weaving?
The type of materials that go into a hand-made rug will differ from one model to the next. They will also depend on the region where the weavers live, and workmanship they will put into it, and so on.
These carefully selected materials will do an excellent job at creating the design of the rug and its personality, including the texture, color, tactile feel, and more. Silk, wool, cotton, camel hair, viscose, or bamboo are just a few of the most common fabrics used during the weaving.
These materials, along with the detailed processes used during the weaving have been a part of many ancient cultures over the glove, and they have remained the same for an impressively long time. Numerous global cultures have worked at creating their own traditions, ranging from the highly reputable Turkish, Persian, or Chinese rugs that we all know and love. However, no matter what the origins of a rug might be, there is little to no difference in the way they are put together.
A silk rug will look and feel different from a rug made with cotton, as it will always have a specific charm and beautiful sheen to it, along with a gorgeous pattern rich in many details. It is the very fineness of silk fabrics that enable rug weavers to give birth to amazingly detailed motifs all throughout their rugs.
The dyes used when making a rug can be plant-based or natural and synthetic. Only natural dyes were available to rug weavers a few centuries ago, but wavers have an endless number of synthetic dye options at hand today.
Popular Rug Weaving Techniques
One of the safest and surest ways of identifying a fine quality area rug is by assessing the type of materials it is made from, as well as the weaving technique used for waving the rug. The smallest noticeable differences will usually create a powerful in its sturdiness, price tag, as well as intrinsic value.
Expert rug weavers and professional rug cleaning technicians know how to carefully inspect and assess these exact features and interesting conclusions regarding the country of origin, the weaving techniques, the age or value of the rug.
The type of knots of the rug’s pile rug can also help make the difference between various types of rugs. These so-called knots are looped around pairs of warps or individual warps. In pile rugs, the knots are represented by knot collars that are warped around the warps and ends and they can be woven through different configurations.
The design of a rug can be as simple, complex, stylized, or modern-looking, leaving it to the imagination of the weaver.
The Rug Weaving Process
With the help of a hooked knife or gollabs, weavers will efficiently push the yarn through the warps and hook the yarn to the rug’s face. Next, they will cut the yarn after creating a knot with it. Several knots need to be made across the rug’s width, the weaver will use a combor beater. This tool will help flatten the new row of knots as well as the warps. Once the pile measures around an inch, it will be cut with a pair of special scissors, determining the length of the rug.
For a rig made from wool, the unprocessed wool needs to be manually separated in order to break up its clumps and get rid of any additional materials that might be trapped in it. The wool is then inserted in a special machine that will pull it into separate strands, then spun into new yarn. In ancient times, the wool used to be manually spun using very basic spinning wheels.
After being washed, the yarn will be submerged in the chosen dye made from a mix of plant-based or synthetic dyes. The dye will then be heated to near the boiling temperature for a certain time, then the rug is dried in the sun.
The freshly dyed yarn will then be woven into the carpet by knotting, tufting, or hooking, which are the main weaving techniques used by most weavers.
Next time you look at a genuine Oriental rug, try to imagine all of the weaver’s steps that create what looks like a seamless and perfect item. To learn more about the rug weaving process and to find out what we can do for your Oriental rug in Brooklyn