How Handmade Rugs are Crafted
Rugs have been made by hand for many centuries. Passed down between generations and from culture to culture, rugs have a prominent place in history.
In fact, the first rugs were made by tribal shepherds who required heavy clothing to shield themselves from the wind and cold. They then began using them as floor coverings.
Over the centuries, rug makers have developed techniques of weaving amazingly stunning patterns and have turned rug making into a fine art form.
The terms “handmade” and “hand-woven” are reserved for those rugs that are made completely by hand. While many rugs in American homes are made using machines, machines are not used in any part of the making of our hand crafted rugs.
There are several different traditional processes used to create these gorgeous, artisanal crafts.
A Few Definitions
Warp and Weft: Pairs of vertical strings, referred to as a “warp,” are attached to a loom. The “weft” are wool strands woven through the warp strings or, or knotted by hand onto to warp strings.
One way to determine a hand woven rug from a machine-made rug is to take a close look at the fringes along the rug’s edges. The fringe in a handmade rug is referred to as the warp strings – an integral part of the rug and not an applied ornamentation.
Pile: The “pile” refers to the density of the fibers of the rug. Handmade rugs are woven or knotted together, then attached to a backing. The pile is the women tapestry separate from the backing.
Hand Knotted Wool Rugs
Hand knotted wool rugs are made by only the most skilled of craftsmen. This technique is by far the most time consuming of all the handmade rug processes we carry.
In hand knotted rugs, the weft is tied onto the warp with little knots, creating the pile. Even within this tradition, there are several different approaches and kinds of knots utilized. Every rug made this way is unique and made with a lot of care and precise finger work.
Hand Tufted Wool Rugs
The tufting process occurs when a rug maker threads strands of wool fiber through the backing of the rug. In this way, the pile of the rug is made from a painstaking process of individually sewn in fibers. The closer the tufts are to one another, the higher the density of fibers and therefore a denser pile. Items of a higher density will use a larger amount of material and will cost more. Tufted rugs have a greater pile height, meaning they are thicker than other handmade rugs.
The superiority of the wool is important, too. All of the hand tufted wool rugs we stock are made with the highest grade wool.
Hand Woven Rugs
The method of hand weaving covers a rather wide spectrum. Many woven products are intricately created by hand on a traditional loom. In this case, each weft will be fed through the warp alternating between above and below. Once a few strands are woven through, the rug maker tightly pulls them down, creating a densely constructed weave. This method will result in a flat weave and a very thin rug.
Hand Tufted Shaggy Rugs
Similar to the production of other products, hand tufted shaggy rug production involves the tufter injecting the pile through a backing cloth, from behind. Every pile is individually injected so the closer the tufts, the higher the density.
In order to create a shaggy product, the length of each tuft is dramatically increased. Products of a longer pile or higher density use a larger amount of material and will cost more to produce.
Hand Tufted Acrylic Rugs
This is made in the same way as hand tufted wool. Each pile is individually injected and the closer the tufts, the higher the density. The only variation of the production method in this instance is the material that is used. Many hand tufted acrylics are made with 100% high grade acrylic.
Hand-Knotted Persian Area Rugs
Arguably the most exquisite rugs in the world, these area rugs are typically made in Iranian and Afghanistan villages by weavers who have usually been passing down the tradition for centuries. The wool rugs are hand-knotted using local sheep’s wool and the workmanship is simply superb. Even after decades of use, when properly cleaned, Persian area rugs will continue to look brand new. They make the perfect heirloom for passing down in a family.
We stock a wide range of hand made area rugs made by skilled and dedicated craftsmen. They are perfect if you want an exquisite rug that will stay looking like new for years to come.
Take a look at PlushRugs comprehensive range of top quality rugs and find the perfect finishing touch for any room in your home.
And check out this awesome video for more info on handmade rugs by one of our brands, Surya!