Making of A Hand-Knotted Indian Rug

Without magnificent carpets, wonderful interiors are never complete. Rugs usually give a room a wonderful feel. Carpets have added elegance to houses for centuries, and beautiful rugs provide the feeling of grandeur every time one walks on them. But where do these carpets originate, and who are the artists behind them? The dazzling Indian handmade carpets and area rugs business takes pride in its ability to provide consumers all around the world with hand-knotted carpets. Customers from all around the world are clamouring for these beautiful and elegant Indian hand-knotted carpets. Clients hold them in high regard for their exceptional craftsmanship. These hand-knotted carpets are unique; they have a long-lasting shine, easily settle on the chosen location, have a feathery-soft texture, are easy to clean and maintain, and can be customised according to one's preferences.

Hand-knotted carpets are a booming cottage industry in India, employing more than 2 million people. Carpet weaving is a heritage that has been passed down the generations in Varanasi, Bhadohi, Mirzapur, Gopiganj, Sitapur, Agra, Srinagar, Jaipur, Bikaner, Panipat, and Gwalior. Bhadohi, a modest city in Uttar Pradesh, is renowned as the "carpet city" and has been weaved into history for over 5 centuries. Bhadohi craftsmen are responsible for 60% of India's carpet and rug production. The Mughal emperor Akbar introduced the technique of carpet weaving to Bhadohi, and it has been a source of income for people in the town since the 16th century.

Hand-knotted Rug’s History

Carpet weaving is an old technique that is thought to have begun thousands of years ago on the Central Asian plains, where nomadic shepherds wove raw wool into readily transportable fabrics required for warmth. These abilities evolved and spread throughout the years. Techniques, distinct styles, and ornamental components developed distinctive to various regions, such as Persia, Turkey, India and China. Long before the advent of machine-made rugs, these hand-woven carpets became highly prized artefacts.

Consumers Prefer Indian Handmade Rugs

Oriental hand-knotted/handmade carpets are produced in nations throughout Asia, including Iran, Turkey, China, and India. However, bespoke handmade carpets created in India are the most popular because of their detailed designs, durability, and high-quality materials utilised in their creation. The following are some of the characteristics of these Indian handmade rugs:

  • They are composed of high-quality natural materials and have varied and beautiful patterns
  • They are long-lasting
  • Indian hand-knotted rugs are less expensive than rugs from other regions of the world due to low labour costs in India
  • One hand-knotted rug requires the efforts of around 100 craftspeople
  • There are more than 18 steps in the rug-making process

The Process of Creating A Hand-knotted Rug

A carpet's adventure begins far earlier than a thread; it begins with an idea. The designers consider an idea before finalising the design for the subsequent carpet. Designers are sometimes free to change the colour of the design to anything they like, and other times they must adhere to customer/market needs. Years of expertise are required to understand how colour will be created with various types of yarn under a wide assortment of light. Designers convert ideas from a hand-drawn sketch to a computer-aided drawing, which necessitates accuracy. Each square symbolises one knot in the pattern, which is created on graph paper. To portray the intricacies in hues, the outlines of the sketches are filled in with paint. The final drawing aids the artist in deciphering the rug's pattern and determining which colour each knot should be in. After that, printed designs are traced and marked down to the last detail. Colours, ratios, the number of knots, and strategies for achieving the desired effect are specified in advance to the group of weavers. The weaving procedure then begins. There are more than 18 phases to the weaving process.

A hand-knotted rug takes roughly 14-16 weeks to complete from raw material to final artwork. To begin with, a hand-knotted rug differs from a hand-tufted rug. Hand-knotted rugs are manufactured by hand-tying each knot, whereas hand-tufted carpets are made with a gun. Hand-knotted carpets are made by expert Indian craftsmen using the following method:

Raw Materials

Designers have experimented with several fibres over the years, but nothing compares to the purity and softness of 100% wool paired with the sheen and sumptuousness of silk. Wool and silk are the only man-made fibres that produce a rich, deep pile and have the wonderful feel of wool and silk underfoot.

1) Silk

All of the silk used in Villedomo carpets is of the finest quality, created utilising a 2,000-year-old sustainable technique that yields the finest of glossy strands.

2) Wool

Wool is a strong, natural substance that contains wax lanolin, which makes for a soft but durable yarn, takes colours nicely and is inherently stain resistant. The small variations in the hue of wool that occur naturally add to the particular character of a bespoke rug. Before being turned into yarn, the wool goes through several laborious procedures.

Weaving Process

Indian carpets are woven on a wooden loom using cotton vertical (warp) threads intertwined with horizontal wool or silk (weft) threads using a wood shuttle. Depending on the size of the carpet, up to eight weavers can work on it at the same time, knot by knot, to create the design. The Indian approach employs a unique knot that is not seen in Persian or Turkish carpets. The finer the rug, the greater the knot count. All Villedomo carpets have a minimum of 50 knots per square inch (the size of a postage stamp), ensuring that the completed design is accurate and intricate.

The yarn is wrapped over both the previous and next warps to produce one knot, then over a small metal rod temporarily connected to the front of the loom, moving from left to right. The pile height is determined by the thickness of this rod. This is done one line at a time before special hammer-like equipment is used to tamp down the final portion. The metal bar is released and the process moves on to the next area. When a row is completed, a sharp blade is slid through a slot in the gauge rod, cutting the yarn loops into a pile. The completed carpet is taken off the loom and immersed in water before being hand-washed. To tighten the fibres and make the carpet colour stable, large wooden paddles are used to force the water through the pile. The carpets are then sun-dried on the roofs, with a stretcher tightening the weave and stretching the carpet to the proper size. Using broad flat bladed shears, the carpet is meticulously trimmed to a consistent pile height once it has dried. Then comes the difficult task of meticulously 'carving' out certain design features. This exquisite pattern trimming draws attention to and softly defines locations where wool meets silk, as well as spots designated by the designers. The warp thread fringe is knotted, cut, and the final carpet is hand-tied around the edges to bind and complete it, making it ready for inspection, packing, and shipment. Durability and gorgeous textures are unique to this procedure and are among the advantages of hand-knotted carpets.

India sells rugs and carpets to more than 70 countries, according to the Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC). The largest and most established markets for Indian carpets are Germany, the United Kingdom, and France.

Europe, on the other hand, appears to be static, prompting exporters to seek new markets. According to CEPC, the United States has the largest proportion of Indian carpet exports, but there is still room for expansion. Handmade Indian carpets are quite popular in the United States. Even nations in Latin America, such as Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia, have a lot of untapped potentials. Brazil, for example, has a vast population and strong demand, but import tariffs needed to be more reasonable.

Hand-knotting a rug is a laborious yet fascinating procedure. As a result, the craftsmen are entitled to a great deal of respect and dignity. Weaving a carpet must take a long time and a lot of labour. These artists put forth a lot of effort, and the complexity of the end product reflects their endeavours.

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