What is the reason behind the cost-effectiveness of handmade rugs?
Combining ancient traditions, handmade rugs are unique because of their pattern, design, and color, not only because of their particular craftsmanship.
In the world of handmade rugs, the most beautiful ones and the highest quality ones are considered hand-tied rugs.
A handmade rug is a guarantee of quality, and it can be handwoven, hand-tufted, or even hand-knotted. What are the differences between these weaving techniques? What are the weavers’ trade secrets?
Hand Weaving Method
The handweaving method is a manufacturing technique that involves weaving a carpet manually, which gives the product high quality. Ideal for rugs with so-called kilim or patchwork patterns, the handwoven fabric is mainly used on handmade wool rugs.
Formerly, this method particularly concerned rugs made of vegetable fibers such as seagrass or sisal. The technical gestures of the handwoven have kept all their authenticity and allow obtaining perfect finishes.
More precisely, the upholsterer who uses this technique works with threads that may or may not be colored. When it comes to the manufacture of a handmade designer patterned rug, the threads used will be. The weaver weaves so-called “weft” threads in so-called “warp” threads to create the design. The weft thread, placed in the width direction, is positioned perpendicular to the warp thread, placed in the length direction. Passed one below the other, their crossing allows obtaining a weft and, therefore, a solid carpet.
Handwoven is mainly carried out on support or horizontal loom. These are drawn on paper and placed under the weaver’s string of strands on a handmade patterned rug. So the weaver can easily see and follow them. This is a long method but less expensive than hand-knotted and hand-tufted.
Hand-knotted carpet technique
Hand-knotted is certainly the most unchanged artisanal method for centuries and the most complex and much more expensive than handwoven. This manufacturing technique concerns almost only pile rugs and is carried out on often vertical support.
When the weaver makes a handmade rug, each design is first made on a paper backing. Particularly used for carpets made of very noble materials such as leather or silk. This method consists of creating slip knots between strands of “weft,” generally in wool or viscose, and strands of “warp.” Subsequently, these knots are cut or shaved. The carpet is cleaned and dried in the open air. This process gives it a shiny appearance and a very soft pile.
This technique gives the handmade carpet a most prestigious appearance, both for its fineness of weaving and for its durability over time.
Generally, it is said that if a carpet contains more than 250,000 knots per square meter, it will be of unsurpassed quality.
Hand-tufted carpet technique
A hand-tufted rug is a handmade rug made based on a textile backing, on which the desired pattern has been drawn beforehand. Unlike hand-knotted, hand-tufted is done on a horizontal support.
The strands of wool, bamboo silk, or even viscose are then introduced one by one onto this support using a gun. This method makes it possible to obtain a carpet manufactured with minute precision and high quality, with exact patterns.
Once the fabric strands implantation is finished, the carpet enters a phase called “shaving” or “equalization.” The strands are then all at the same height to obtain a soft and flat carpet.
But then, what about relief carpets?
This is because not all handmade rugs are classics and may require extra work.
Whenever a handmade rug is carved like this, the wool or viscose is tufted to the maximum desired height. It is only then that the furrows are cut with a chisel or a mini electric mower and entirely by hand. This gives the carpet a carving effect. As well as shaving, come the phases of brushing, installing the finishing of the perimeter of the carpet, and installing the backrest and embossing.
Natural materials and a long life
If you want to invest in a top-quality hand-knotted rug, you will not only get a traditional piece of craftsmanship steeped in history. You will get a rug made of natural materials and with a long life expectancy. Although some industrial rugs made from sheep wool and other natural materials are available, most have been colored with artificial and chemical dyes. Also, they do not reach the density of knotting and the quality of fine oriental rugs. Therefore, you have to prefer handmade rugs over machine-made rugs.