The Process of Knotting a Handmade Carpet

Feb 2, 2024

As with the basic construction of all woven textiles Oriental Rugs begin with two types of threads – the warp (or weave) and the weft. The warp threads run vertically in an up and down direction and the weft threads run horizontally or left to right. The tying of a Persian knot (to produce one trailing strand) or Turkish knot (two trailing strands) to create one/two pieces of pile in a carpet is not too dissimilar to the practise of tying a shoe lace albeit by tying and securing the yarn around the crossing sections of the weft & weave. This process is repeated horizontally along the weft and weave before the knots are batted down with a heavy hand held comb to compress the knots together into a very firm well locked and upright manner, each strand of yarn/piece of pile is then cut off with a hook like knife which in turn leaves a single, or with the Turkish knot two pieces of pile.

This entire process is repeated along the width of the rug in a lateral manner until each line is complete, thereafter the next line above it is then commenced and the new line process is repeated time and time again until it eventually forms what we would recognised as a textured rug.  As an approximate idea of knot count we would typically see round 120 knots to one given square inch. A typical sized 300x200cm carpet would therefore usually take two or three weavers around 8 months to complete – usually involving well over one million knots in total in typical handmade rug of this size.