Hand Woven Area Rugs
Although power machinery turns out most of the carpets sold today, it has not eliminated the ancient craft of hand weaving. Rugs were listed as valued belongings in Persian literature as early as the 6th century. They were most likely coarse flat-woven fabrics produced on looms in much the same way that other plain textiles were made at the time. Hand-knotted rugs were created later, possibly by nomad tribes of Turkestan or the Caucasus. The weaving of hand-knotted rugs spread throughout the Orient, and Persia became the predominant center of manufacture. Most handmade rugs are Orientals and are still made in the Middle and Far East.
Oriental rugs are usually classed geographically. They are referred to as Persian, Turkish, Caucasian, Turkoman, Indian, or Chinese. The different varieties within these groups may be named for towns in the various weaving districts and marketing centers.
Hand tied rugs are constructed on a special form of loom which consists of evenly spaced pegs on long, parallel beams. Most hand tied rugs are made with wool which is spun and died to the specifications of the rug pattern and planned color pallet. Some higher end rugs use silk for highlights in the pattern.
The base components of the rug are called the warp, weft, and Tufts. The stands of warp run parallel to the length of the rug and stick out each end to create the fringe. The spun bunches of wool, known as tufts, are hand tied to the warp stands. After a row of tufts are tied, a weft strand is woven perpendicular to and through the warp strands and then pushed together to create a denser pile. This meticulous time consuming process is then repeated until the rug is complete. The tufts (wool bunches) are then trimmed to create an even pile. This whole process can take a small group of people three years or more to finish but the results can be fabulous. There is nothing like the durability and artistry of a genuine hand tied area rug.
Hand Tufted Area Rugs
While most handmade rugs are of the hand knotted type there is a different weaving process that doesn’t involve any knots whatsoever. It is know as the hand-tufted process. Hand-tufted rugs were very fashionable in the 1920’s and 1930’s and though they are not as popular today they do offer people a less expensive option to hand tied rugs.
The base material in a hand-tufted rug is primarily a pre-woven canvas. The pile of these rugs can consist of wool, silk and synthetic fibers.
Hand-tufted rugs can be mistaken for hand-knotted rugs because they can share similar properties, however they’re not as durable as hand knotted rugs but they cost considerably less. The main reason hand-tufted rugs are cheaper then hand-knotted is they are much easier and quicker to make. Hand-tufted rugs aren’t made by forming little knots; instead they’re made by forming little tufts using specific tools.
The process starts by cutting the backing material into the correct size and shape so that it can be stretched over a backing frame at which point the craftsman can commence. A drawing of the proposed area rug is created so that its image can be projected onto the material and the area rugs design can be traced. Like a paint-by-numbers kit, numbers are given to each area to represent the colors to be used. The correct color yarns are than pushed, with the use of a unique device called a tufting gun, through the backing. Latex glue is then applied to hold each tuft to the backing. The looped tufts are then cut to create the pile. A layer of latex is then laminated on the back of the rug along with a layer of a material designed to protect the floor in the homes where the area rugs will be placed.
While not as durable or valuable, hand tufted rugs do come in similar styles to hand knotted and at a price more consumers can afford.
This article was taken directly from WFCA Floortalk (www.floortalk.wfca.org.org). Also, please visit my websites at www.americarpetfloors.com and www.stylishrugs.com for all your flooring needs.
[ed. note: To summarize, hand tufted area rugs use a pre-woven canvas when making the area rug, making it much easier and quicker to insert the material. Hand Woven on the other hand is made from scratch, which takes much more time and labor; hence the higher cost. ]
We sell both of these types of area rugs among many others at our store. If you cannot make it to our store we have an online one you can purchase these sort of rugs through (www.StylishRugs.com). Moreover, we can make them into any size or shape and use any material you would like.