Handloom carpets: A brief overview

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/31/2006 | Home Improvement

Its amazing! A matter of pride! The mark of tradition that has been carried down over hundreds of years still remains as it is even in the technological upheaval of todays world. Handloom carpets maintain that traditional weaving pattern following the same style and techniques with the use of the same tools that were practiced years ago.

Handloom carpets are actually hand knotted carpets that come up invariably in three different styles. Traditionally woven on the wooden loom with a mounted warp on it, where cotton is the most common fiber used as warp. Even silk warps are used but cotton is preferred. The primary reason is its low cost and easy availability.

Cotton used in the handloom carpets can be of various thicknesses which decide the stiffness of the end product. This quality of cotton doesnt allow the weaving process to get loose and the shape of the carpet thus remains intact.

The woolen and silk handloom carpets are woven in a special technique. It is an alteration of knots and wefts where the knots are wrapped around the warps. In the horizontal movement of lines, the weaving process is conducted. The combination of silk and wool is always formulated in a ratio and thats vital because the softness and the neatness in weaving largely depend on this proportion.

Well regarding the three patterns of knot, Sneha, the Persian knot, is very famous. This is basically a single knot named after the Sneha, town of Persia. Traditionally these carpets were made there although now, artisans of other places do weave the same.

Ghiordes is another hand knot popular among the Turks. This name too has come up from the weaving city of Turkey. Unlike Sneha, this is a double knot but with lesser neatness and refinement than the single knots.

The technique that separates the single knot from the double knot is a very fine difference. Actually carpet weavers tie the single knot without any imposition. It is done uniquely for a single time to maintain the clarity of design patterns and order of the surface. But in case of double knots, the clarity of distinct patterns and shapes are omitted.

Single knots are more used for wall carpets and Persian wall carpets are known all over the world. Handloom carpets for flooring, etc. are mostly made of double knots. Apart from these knots, a third pattern of handloom carpeting is the Tibetan knot. This is yet a special technique where the carpet forms a creased pattern with uneven cutting of pile.

In handloom carpets, the thickness is regulated by the nature of yarn and density of knots. Even the ply and pile height play significant roles. For a woolly designing pattern the height of the pile used is more. Generally in the woolen carpets the knots vary from 30 to 170 I numbers per every square inch. Thus you can make it out from here, that for a more sophisticated look and fine quality more knots are preferable.

Silk or art silk used in handloom carpeting require much tediousness in the making of knots. For achieving the utmost refinement, knots per square inch can reach till 625 in numbers. The minimum is 225 to bring out the pattern of style in silk handloom carpets.

Salute to those weavers who have dedicated their whole life in creating such wonderful patterns. Reflection of tradition and great pieces of art! What else can these handloom carpets be better known as?