Weaving Techniques



Not all handmade rugs are woven in the same way. The style of weaving determines both the appearance of the finished product, as well as the price (due to the time and labour involved).


Weaving Techniques at a Glance



Rug Type-5'x8'
(150x240cm)
Time to ManufactureDurabilityPriceshedding
Hand-Knotted 5-12 months 20+ years $$$$ Low
Hand-Tufted 4-6 months 3-10 years $$ Medium-High
Flat-Weave 3-4 months 20+ years $$ Low
Hand-Loomed Construction dependent (3-5 months) 3-10 years $$ Low-Medium



HAND KNOTTED






  • The most labour-intensive weaving process, conducted by specially-trained artisans
  • Working off a rug map, artisans tie individual knots to build up the rug’s design one row at a time
  • The quality of a hand-knotted rug is determined by the number of knots per square inch (KSPI)
  • A higher KPSI requires greater skill on the part of the weaver and results in a higher-quality rug

How To Identify:

Individual, often uneven knots are visible on the back of these rugs, mirroring the pattern visible on the front.





HAND TUFTED






  • Individual tufts of yarn are punched into a pre-made backing fabric with a special tufting gun
  • This tool hooks and pulls yarn through the backing to form loops or piles
  • This process is less skill and labor-intensive than hand-knotting, so rugs can be completed in a shorter amount of time

How To Identify:

These rugs have a canvas backing glued on to hold the knots in place and usually have a cut or cut and loop pile.





FLAT WEAVING






  • Flat-weave rugs are created on a loom, rather than knotted or tufted
  • These rugs are often reversible, with designs on both sides
  • Because they only consist of warp and weft threads they don’t have the thickness of knotted and tufted rugs
  • Flat-weave rugs are lightweight and often require rug pads to stay in place

How To Identify:

With their woven construction, these rugs are flat and don’t have a pile.





HAND LOOMED






  • Weavers use a loom to create these rugs by hand
  • The loom holds the warp (vertical) threads in place and allows the interweaving of the weft (horizontal)
  • Different looms are used to produce different types of rugs: including felted textures, shag, naturals or solid and border rugs

How To Identify:

Hand-loomed rugs usually have a low to medium pile (other than shags, which have a deep pile) and can have a canvas backing added to them.