Designer Rug Craftsmanship
The ancient history of Tibetan rugs is steeped in tradition and has been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. Scholars believe that the intricate art of rug weaving was first developed in the Himalayan region of Nepal, where this age-old tradition was primarily used for domestic purposes. Initially hand woven rugs were created as mats, door covers, bed covers, and pillar rugs. Once woven these often elaborately decorated coverings were sometimes hung as ornaments around the pillars of Buddhist monasteries. Traditional Tibetan weaving draws its inspiration from the Buddhist religion, which has been a defining element in Tibetan culture for centuries.
Hand-weaving floor and wall coverings has always been an integral part of the daily lives of villagers from the mountainous region of Northern Nepal. Commercial manufacturing, however, wasn’t introduced until the early 1960’s. During this same period Tibet conceded sovereignty to the Chinese government prompting a mass emigration of over 100,000 Tibetan citizens, including the Dalai Lama to India. Despite having been around for centuries, Europeans took interest in the commercialization of the grass roots rug industry primarily as a means of supporting Tibetan refugees settling in Nepal. In 1964 the first commercial shipment of woolen rugs (rug on carpet) made it’s way across Europe. Since that time rug manufacturing has evolved to become a major contributor to the Tibetan economy, as well as creating job opportunities for Tibetan refugees, and Nepalese natives alike.
Nepalese and Tibetan rugs
Over time, Nepalese and Tibetan weavers have developed an intricate, high density knotting system, which has since been acknowledged as the industry standard for texture, and aesthetic quality. The look and feel of knotted rugs depend entirely on the quality, and selection of the materials used, as well as knot count.
Rugs are produced in both single, and double knot patterns, producing a flexible carpet that is softer, and thicker than similar rugs distributed by Turkey, and Persia. Top quality Tibetan rugs have a tighter, denser weave, and a thicker, deeper pile giving it excellent resiliency, and long life. By using only 100% sheep wool, combined with other plant fibers, Tibetan artisans ply their skills to create the most sought after rugs in the world.
Art of Weaving
First, our workers obtain a shipment of raw sheep’s wool. Impurities are then separated from the wool by being washed in natural spring water to get it sparkling white, and free of odors.
Next comes Carding. This process separates the individual wool fibers, and further removes all foreign matter. This helps in spinning, blending, and wool mixing, if necessary. In today’s modern world carding may also done using machines.
After carding, wool fibers are drawn and twisted, creating yarns of varying thickness through a process called spinning. Yarn twisted to a soft, 57-twist per inch is said to be ideal for weaving our modern rugs. Since spinning is a skill native to the Nepalese people, wool is normally spun by hand. Hand spinning yields the highest quality yarn for rugs due to its elasticity and strength.
Both natural, and synthetic mediums can be used to add brilliant color to our contemporary rugs by dyeing the wool. While synthetic dyes deliver vibrant colors, and require less work, natural dyes gain favor for environmental friendliness, and a more subdued range of color.
From beginning to end, all weaving is performed by hand on a vertical loom. Depending on the size of our clients modern rug, as many as three to four workers can be working on a the rug at one time. Common tools of the trade are multiple yarn balls, scissors, iron-rod, levers, a comb beater, etc.
The average knot density of a Nepalese and Tibetan rug ranges from 40 to 160 knots per square inch. The most common knot density of our designer rugs falls between 100 and 160 knots per square inch.
The detailed designs & patterns are carved from our woven designer rugs by hand using scissors. It requires a steady hand as one false cut can damage the sale value of an otherwise beautiful carpet.
After trimming, common household chemicals are used to kill germs, remove dirt, and restore the original shine of the wool before it is then washed in fresh water and left to dry in the sun for 45 days.
Metal frames are used in the stretching process where our clients contemporary rug is hung by hooks from all four sides. This allows the rug to dry while maintaining its square shape.
At this stage our designer rug will be trimmed again to remove stray yarn, then vacuum cleaned. Afterwards it is packed in environmentally friendly packing materials and is then ready for delivery.
The Tibetan and Nepalese rug can be woven on any type of loom. Upright looms can consist of a simple square made of of two upright posts framing two horizontal bars. The wrap threads are then stretched between two horizontal bars. The elaborate looms made of metal beams are used in making larger rugs. The rolling beams can also be used for creating a longer contemporary rug.
Rug on Carpet.