The Basics of Oriental Rug Weaving

Ever since the nomads in the Middle East began weaving the first knotted rugs back around 400 B.C. the technique, principles and the materials used have not changed very much. The most common materials used for weaving oriental rugs were and still are goat and sheep wool, silk or cotton. The quality of the wool used for making these unique carpets depends on the diet and breed of the sheep or goats.

Oriental rug


The types of looms used to weave an Oriental carpet are horizontal and vertical ones. The horizontal looms are the more primitive ones which were used by the first carpet makers centuries ago, whilst the vertical ones are newer and are for making classical carpets.


The oriental carpets are basically divided into two main types – knotted and flat woven.


The knotted carpets are also called piled carpets, while flat woven ones are known as kilims. There are carpets which combine both techniques as well. The knot types used are either Turkish (symmetrical) or Persian (asymmetrical). There are also alternative knots which can be used for weaving an Oriental carpet, such as the Spanish or Jufti knots too. When the weaving and knotting are done, the warps at both ends are cut, which actually forms the fringe of the oriental carpet. The sides are overcast or bound with yarn for extra strength, and the cut pile is carefully sheared so that its height becomes uniform. At the end of the carpet weaving process, it is washed in order to remove any dust and dirt which has been accumulated during the process of its making.


The two main types of oriental carpet design are: geometrical and floral which are made with either tribal or town weavings. The typical geometrical design of the carpets includes a medallion in the center surrounded by repeated geometrical designs.


Town oriental carpets have a finer weave and are made of the highest quality wool and materials, which makes them incredibly durable and valuable. They typically require more space for weaving and are usually made in bigger cities. On the other hand, the tribal carpets are made in tribes and villages, but they are still considered incredibly valuable to collectors and admirers around the world.


The colours of these carpets are a result of traditional dying of the wool with the help of natural dyes found in various plants, insects, animals, and mixtures. In fact, recipes for these dies have been handed down generation to generation in the nomadic tribes for ages. Oriental rug are really beautiful and valuable, so they require special treatment. Don’t worry, you can always call our professional cleaners and ask for help.

Author: Madison Kirby

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