Techniques and Materials

Techniques

Tibetan Handknotted

Tibetan handknotted rugs are made on vertical wooden looms. On this loom, cotton warp threads are stretched from the bottom to the top in a continuous loop. The vertical warp threads provide the rug’s structure; the horizontal weft threads hold in each line of knots.

Tibetan knots are made by tying the yarn around two warp threads and a metal rod. Each looped knot is half of both the previous and the next one. When the colour changes or the whole line is complete, the yarn is cut.

The knot count states how many individual knots are made in one square inch. We usually work with 80, 100 and 150 knots per square inch -kpsi-. A standard size 9 x 6 ft (274 x 183 cm) rug with a knot count of 150 will be made of about 1,200,000 knots.

A higher knot count allows for more detail in the design while also resulting in a finer rug texture and a longer-lasting rug, as the knots are tighter and denser.

Tibetan handknotted rug finishing corrections and check
  • True traditional and authentic handicraft technique
  • Allows for small details, as each knot is made individually
  • Long-lasting for generations
  • High quality
  • Made completely of natural yarn and held only by the cotton warp and weft threads
  • It is an ellaborate process done only by expert artisans
  • Large variety of materials available
  • The knots are visible and thus curved or diagonal lines show the scaled knotted pattern. This is a beautiful reminder that it is fully handmade.

Handtufted

A handtufted rug is created by inserting tufts or loops of yarn through a primary backing using a “tufting gun”. This is a hand-held tool that allows to replicate the patterns traced on the backing fabric with the yarn.

Then, the tufts are secured and held in place with latex glue and finally a strong resistant backing is sewn.

The tufting method requires a high level of expertise and artistry to reproduce intricate patterns.

  • Ideal for rounded shapes, as it does not need to follow the design row by row and the yarn can be added freely anywhere, thus achieving better curves.
  • Usually faster to make than handknotted rugs
  • Thick pile
  • Slightly less durable than handknotted rugs.
  • Available in New Zealand wool only.

Flatweave Kilim (or Dhurrie)

Our flatweave rugs can be made in different sub-techniques, such as kilim, dhurrie and sumaik, depending on the type of design.

These rugs are made by weaving weft threads under and over the warp threads, interlocking them.

The process is similar to that of weaving textiles.

They show only the weft threads, as the warps hide when tightly packing the weaves.

  • Faster to make than other techniques
  • Thin rugs
  • Nomadic, tribal feel
  • Ideal for geometric designs with few details
  • Versatile
  • Light-weight, easy to handle
  • It can be made reversible
  • Cost-friendly

Materials

New Zealand Wool

Best about this wonderful material:

  • Very high quality and soft.
  • Strong and durable.
  • Great temperature insulator.
  • Quite resilient with traffic and furniture legs.
  • Hypo-allergenic and flame-resistant.
  • Best colour saturation (absorption of the colour dye) because it is naturally whiter.
  • Imported directly from certified cruelty-free New Zealand wool suppliers from Romney and Lincoln sheep.
  • Wool is not chemically treated.
  • It absorbs some humidity.
  • Particularly recommended for children’s bedrooms, because of its softness and colours. Also ideal for master bedrooms and living rooms.
Tibetan Handknotted 100 kpsi, New Zealand wool, closeup

To keep in mind:

  • Colours may fade if placed under direct sunlight.
  • It ages slightly less elegantly than linen or mohair.


Linen

Tibetan Handknotted 150 kpsi, Linen, closeup

Best about this beautiful material:

  • Completely organically grown from flax and fully biodegradable. No pesticides at all.
  • Lustrous, soft, strong, and durable and becomes even stronger and softer with use and time. It is three times stronger than cotton.
  • Thermo-regulating (cool and breathable during hot weather and insulating during cold weather).
  • Non-allergenic and anti-bacterial.
  • It absorbs humidity (up to 20% before feeling damp). Mildew-resistant.
  • Down-to-earth elegant shine.
  • Perfect blend of luxury, comfort, and environmental friendliness.
  • Recommended for living rooms, children’s bedrooms, and master bedrooms.

To keep in mind:

  • With time it may reveal traffic marks.
  • Colours are slightly less predictable, as linen being a natural plant-based material, it has its own natural colour as the base.


Mohair

Best about this incredible premium material:

  • Very soft, naturally softer than the other wools
  • Luxurious
  • Rich texture
  • Beautiful sheen, luminous
  • Mohair is a stronger fiber than wool
  • Wonderfully fire-retardant
  • Great sound absorbency
  • Recommended for residencial spaces, as well as hotels and commercial offices.
  • Mohair is produced from angora goats
  • Thank to its unique structure, mohair is hypoallergenic. People with wool allergies need not be allergic to mohair as well.

To keep in mind:

  • It is costly to source and weave
  • May fade under direct sunlight

Finishing Options

Carving

We often recommend carving as a finishing technique for designs with solid colour elements.

Using special Tibetan scissors with 40-45cm (16-18 inch) long curved blades, we can add a fine carving line by cutting along the contours of the design elements.

Carving adds clarity and creates a neater result, by tracing the colours with the scissors.

We can also create or draw a design on a monocolour rug by carving it.

Carving leaves the rug pile at one height, it does not create a relief.


Sculpting

Sculpting means cutting the yarn at different heights, so that a stronger 3-dimensional texture and look is created.

The rug then has one or more relief levels.

Sculpting (or embossing) is particularly interesting for statement rugs that are displayed either on the floor or on the wall.

Deep sculpting is preferable for low traffic areas, as the exposed higher piles are less resistant than on rugs with one pile height only.

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