With their detailed patterns, luxurious texture, and the age-old traditional weaving techniques, handmade floor coverings radiate an aura of magnificence that has the power to captivate the onlookers.
Doubtless to say, handmade rugs are for sure the “cream of the crop” when it comes to the world of carpets and rugs. But do you think you know all that you ‘need’ to know about these exquisite beauties?
If not, then our detailed guide on hand-knotted rugs and their types would surely help you out, and by the time you’re done reading this, you’d have enough knowledge to make the right rug-investment.
So, let’s get into it!
The Birth of a Handmade Rug
Beauty, as we perceive it today, is nothing more than a fragile balance of numerous elements that reach the eyes of viewers.
In the rug world, beauty lies in each and every single strand that’s hand-woven by skilled carpet weavers. The exquisiteness of a handmade rug is born out of the hard work that local craftsmen put in.
Although, these local, and exceptionally talented master weavers are a rare breed in today’s machine-run world, it’s their skilled craftsmanship that gives birth to the widely loved handmade rugs.
How is it all done?
The process begins with sourcing the best and high-quality, fine wool, and processing it. Then this raw wool is carefully cleaned and spun into yarn, often handspun.
Then comes the weaving hour!
Artisans who’ve learned the art of carpet weaving from their ancestors, and have devoted their lives to keep it alive, start creating the carpet knot by knot, following the rug map that they have been provided.
And did you know? Rug weavers have their own magical language for writing down the rug designs known as Taalim.
After the rug has been crafted over a time period of 6-12 months, or more, it’s washed and often placed in the sun so that the colors would get a bit more subtle to give an antique look.
These magnificent handmade rugs, crafted mostly by artisans from lands that are impregnated with tradition, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, etc., are sold as valuable items in the rug world.
They’re so popular and widely-loved that you can even find a high-quality handmade rug online!
As described above in the process, each handmade rug is comprised of millions of knots that tie the piece together.
Handmade rugs, except the traditional kilims, have a distinct front and backside. The front is plush and soft, whereas the back is a knotted surface that narrates the story of a handmade rug’s creation.
These rugs are made of the highest-quality wool that’s sourced from lands such as New Zealand and Pakistan, and each rug is surely an art piece to be cherished for life (that’s how long they can live if taken proper care of).
Handmade rugs are divided into two major categories based on the density of the wool, and the ply of yarn that’s made out of wool.
The two types are:
1. Flat-Woven Rugs
As the name suggests, flat-woven rugs are, well, flat.
In other words, these rugs don’t have a pile of knots or any other foundation. The patterns on these rugs are woven by horizontal and vertical threads, and a simple cross-weaving technique is employed in their making.
Since the strands are just interwoven and there are no knots on the back, these rugs are reversible. In other words, these rugs can be used from both sides, which is in fact a great advantage that they have over piled handmade rugs.
Here are a few types of flat-weaved rugs:
- Kilim: This type of hand-crafted floor coverings is one of the oldest in the flat-weave category. The design of traditional Kilims is created by the weft strands, and the color of these strands is also the main color of the rug. In order to form color transitions in the design of a Kilim, the weft strands are interwoven and looped through the wrap strands.
- Soumak: The Soumak rugs are plusher as compared to Kilims. Owing to their thick weaves that are formed by passing the weft strands over double strands of wraps, these rugs have a softer feel than other flat-weave rugs. Another reason why the Soumak rugs are so fine and supple is because the weaving technique employed in their making creates a herringbone texture on their front side.
- Dhurry: A more casual type of flat-weave rugs, dhurry is commonly made of cotton yarn instead of wool, and they are highly durable. Plus, similar to Kilims, a dhurry rug is reversible and can be used from both sides.
2. Piled Rugs
Piled rugs have a foundation on which the knots made of wool are wrapped to create a pattern. These rugs are famous among carpet fanatics for their plush surface that is the result of the thick pile of yarn that’s knotted together. Here are some types:
- Persian Weave Rugs: The most common and one of the most valued types of rugs, the Persian weave rugs are made of fine wool and have a luxurious feel to them owing to their thick pile.
- Nepal Weave Rugs: This is a modern type of piled rugs that have more subtle patterns as compare to the traditional Persian carpets. The designs of these carpets are mostly either inspired by nature or abstract.
- Sculptured Weave Rugs: These rugs have the thickest pile and are known for their bulky knotted weaves and simpler designs. The patterns of a sculptured weave rug are formed from the contrasting colors that are used in their making.
So, which type of handmade rug would you want for your living room?
Bonus tip: You can now find a high-quality handmade rug for sale online and get it delivered to your doorstep without any additional shipping charges!