The Journey To Create A Handmade Rug
Every step of the process, from the first shear to the final finishing carve, is done by hand.
Remaining true to our belief in sustainable materials, our rugs are made with the finest natural yarns and dyes.
These yarns are then woven in a myriad of ways, creating thoughtful textured designs that are made to last.
Explore the extraordinary craftsmanship of this centuries-old tradition with us.
After the wool has been carefully sheared, it is then hand carded. Carding is the process of disentangling and straightening the jumbled fibres of raw wool by hand, teasing it back and forth between two brush paddles.
The hand carded wool or other fibres is fed into a spinning wheel where it is spun and twisted into one continuous long strand of yarn. The experienced weavers produce yarns at various lengths and thickness according to the knot densities required for different designs. After the yarn is spun it is wound around a spool and balled. Hand-spun yarns have a natural irregularity of thickness, which when dyed, is never uniform in colour, creating the charming uneven effect of 'abrash' Mill-spun yarns have more consistency in tension and colouration, resulting in a more even and uniform finishing.
Traditionally, natural dyes are produced and acquired naturally through vegetables, plants and minerals such as saffron and walnut shells. Nowadays with the advancements of technology, new engineered dyes are made from other available materials.
After being hand-carded and hand-spun, the yarns are dyed by the Dye Master. The yarns are placed in a large boiler with a boiling mixture of water, dye and binding agent. The yarn is constantly turned on a wheel to ensure that the colour is consistent and has effectively permeated the yarns. However because this is done by hand, the yarns may absorb dyes unevenly - resulting in subtle colour differences in the yarn, known as abrash - this imperfect colour perfections add life and character to the finished rug. Once the dyeing process is complete, the yarn is then left to dry naturally.
Graphs show a scaled plan of the overall rug design composition - it is the blueprint for the rug design. Traditionally it was hand painted, but nowadays the graphs are computer generated. The final graph is the template used by the weavers to follow, specifying the colour, material and position of every knot.
Knotting & Weaving
The intricate process of weaving is carried out by skilled artisans working in synchronisation on the loom, guided by the graph that usually sits on the loom in front of them. Handknotted rugs are made on a loom frame, consisting of warp and weft tension threads, which manifests as the foundation of the carpet's structure. The design is then knotted in row by row with the dyed yarns. The higher the knot count density, the finer the rug. There are three commonly used techniques of knotting in handknotted carpets - Tibetan, Persian and Turkish knotting. The Persian method is more traditional, with each knot individually cut by hand to create the pile. The Tibetan technique involves a rod that allows for an entire row of knots to be cut. Handloom rugs are made on a loom with a shuttle. Once the row is complete, the rod is hammered tightly against the row below. The weaver then cuts the yarns along the rod, creating the pile.
Washing is an essential step in rug production, not only does it ensure that the dyes are colour fast and have truly binded to the yarn; it also enhances the softness of the pile, sheen and colours. The rugs are thoroughly washed on both sides with soap and water using a wooden paddle called 'pharwa; that combs through and squeezes out water and dirt from the pile.
Handmade rugs aren't straight when they come off the loom. Once washed, they are taken for stretching. The stretching process will make the rug as perfect and straight as possible. The rug is outlined and stitched on a metal or wooden frame where it stays for a few days to make sure the rug is aligned.
The rug is then dried on roof terraces or in and around open spaces surrounding the washing area. They leave the rug an extra 2 days in the sunlight as this further enhances the sheen and lustrous look.
Once dry, the rug is laid flat and the pile cut and shaved neatly to the required height by hand with a shearing machine. This can be quite a tricky process as the exact same pressure should be applied everywhere so the pile height is identical all over the rug.
Clipping & Carving
During this finishing process, pattern elements are carefully carved out and contoured by hand with scissors, giving definition and three dimensional effects to the rug's design. This extraordinary intricate detailing is done by a team of talented craftsmen. (Enhances the texture and tunes up the look)
The final stage involves neatly wrapping the sides of the rug in a yarn that matches the design. The rug is then ready for its new home.
We only believe in using natural or natural-based materials for our rugs such as highland wool, natural silk, and botanical silk.
We purposefully opt for these luxury materials for their durability and sustainability to create everlasting and environmentally-friendly rugs.
These natural materials bring your rugs and carpets to life with beautiful plays of light and shade.
Sheep's wool has been harvested for thousands of years for its softness, strength, resilience and sustainability. A natural material that repels moisture and flame, and when spun into yarn provides the perfect material for rug making. The best quality wool comes from highland and mountainous regions where the high altitude and dense vegetation result in exceptionally lanolin-rich fibres.
Iran, Afghanistan and New Zealand produce one of the softest wool fibres in the world, where their sheep's fleece is exceptionally rich in lanolin. This affords natural stain resistance and keeps it soft and supple, while imparting a wonderful texture. Long unbroken fibres provide excellent durability.
No other fibre rivals silk for decadent softness and luxurious shine. Silk has delighted the senses since it was first brought from China thousands of years ago. The spectacular lustre comes from the prism-like structure of the surface of each fibre and is unique to silk. As well as reflecting light, this lustre also amplifies colours to a jewel-like intensity. Silk is tremendously strong, and in very old antique carpets it will often outlast wool, though it is considered rather more technical to clean. The finest silk is still thought to be that from China, and we use this to give the ultimate shine and softness. For a more natural feel we use handspun Indian silk with a more nubby and uneven finish.
The fibres of the noble bamboo plant are very long and strong. With special treatment they can be spun into a yarn that is lustrous like silk yet cool to the touch. Bamboo yarn is uneven in colour and texture and the result is a rustic finish that exhibits interesting fluctuations in tone for a natural look.
Mohair or Angora wool is the yarn spun from the fleece of the Angora goat. It is one of the most ancient textile fibres in use and is favoured for its softness and durability. Mohair has a beautiful lustre that adds richness and intensity to colours and is generally woven into plain rugs where the tactile quality of the fibre comes into its own.
With a wealth of luxurious characteristics, mohair is a fibre obtained from the Angora goat. Similar to sheep's wool, the result is soft and fine, offering a beautiful sheen and a high quality weave for our rugs. Warm in winter due to excellent insulating properties, mohair presents the added benefit of remaining cool in summer. Composed mainly of keratin, the fibre is naturally elastic, flame- and crease-resistant, and does not felt.
Woven from the stalks of jute plants in India and Bangladesh, jute rugs have a natural brown hue that, like sisal, can be dyed many colors. All of our jute rugs are undyed and in their natural form. Jute rugs are soft to the touch and ideal for areas with light traffic where your bare feet can enjoy the gentle weave.
Hanknotted rugs are composed of many thousands of individual knots, each created by hand as the yarn is tightly knotted around the warp and weft of the rug, around a metal rod. The size of the knot determines the quality of the rug, with the smallest knots allowing the finest detail of pattern. The result is a rug of extraordinary quality and durability. There are three commonly used techniques of knotting - Tibetan, Persian and Turkish knotting (see below).
Our handloom rugs are made in India by the same skilled weavers as our modern hand-knotted rugs, using the same fine materials. These rugs are handmade on a loom with the use of the shuttle. Like hand-knotted rugs, a rod can be used, creating many textural possibilities. This technique lends itself well to plain rugs, small scale patterns and interesting textures achieved in single tones of colour.
Hand-tufted rugs are widely popular as an affordable alternative for hand-knotted rugs. While handknotted rugs are entirely made by hand, hand-tufted rugs has only a few steps done by hand. This makes for a much quicker production but still allows for a hand finished product. A large canvas is stretched on a loom and the desired pattern is traced by hand directly on the canvas. With the use of a tufting gun, the pile is tufted into the canvas by pushing the material through the canvas with a needle creating a loop. That loop is then cut to create the pile. Thereafter it is glued at the back with a backing cloth to the carpet to keep the yarns in place. Owing to its quicker production, tufted rugs are more affordable but with an expected durability of 10-12 years.
The asymmetrical knot is also known as the Persian knot (or the Senneh knot). To form this knot, the yarn (marked with red) is wrapped around one warp thread (white) then passed under the neighboring warp strand and brought back to the surface. Between every row of knots the weft (green) is placed in one or more rows. The asymmetrical knot makes it possible to weave a finer carpet with higher knot density and more detailing. This knot is used in the Persian workshops (Iran) and in India, Turkey, Egypt and in China.
The symmetrical knot, also known as the Turkish knot or the Ghiordes knot from its origin in Turkey where it was originally used. To form this knot, the yarn is placed (marked with red in the illustration ) in a loop around each of the two neighbouring warp threads (white). With each end of the yarn wrapped around one warp, it is brought back to the surface in the middle of the two warps. Between every row of knots a weft is placed (blue) in one or many rows. The symmetrical knot provides a stronger consistency to the carpet and is often used for thicker carpets. This knot is being used in Turkey, the Caucasian area and in the western parts of Iran and by Turkish and Kurdish tribes. It is also used in some European carpets.
The Tibetan knot has a completely different structure than the other knots. This knot is made by using a temporary rod (brown in the illustration) along the width of the carpet, which is placed in front of the warp (light yellow). A long continuous yarn (red) is then wrapped around two warp threads (light yellow) and then around the rod. When the weaver is done with the entire row of knots the loops around the rod are cut to create the knot.
Not all rugs are create equally.
People with no knowledge of rugs hardly believe everything is done by hand. But it is.
The rugs are skillfully handmade using legacy designs.
We are aiming for legendary.