Oriental Exposition

The Art of Carpet Making

ORIENTAL carpets are world renowned for two things - they are hand made and they are always knotted, never tufted. It is extremely instructive to watch a carpet being made. Stretched tightly on a frame is the warp of Carpet. The weft threads are passed through, the ‘talim’ or design and color specifications are then worked out on this: a strand of yarn is looped through the warp & weft, knotted and then cut. The yarn used normally is silk, wool or silk and wool. Woolen carpets always have a cotton base (Warp & Weft), Silk usually have cotton base. Sometimes however, the base is also silk in which case you will see that the fringe is silk; the cost increases proportionately. Occasionally, carpets are made on a cotton base, mainly of woolen pile with silk yarn used as highlights on certain motifs.

The knotting of the carpet is the most important aspect, determining its durability and value, in addition to its design. Basically, the more knots per square inch, the greater its value and durability. Also there are single and double knotted carpets. You can quiet easily identify one from the other on the reverse of the carpet. The effect that it has on the pile, too, is important- a double knotted carpet has a pile that bends when you brush it one way with your hand, and stands upright when it is brushed in other direction. A Single knotted carpet is fluffier and more resistant to touch.