- Hand Knotted
- Hand Loom
- Hand Tufted
- Dhurries & Kilims
- Machine Made
- Knots per Inch
- Silk Rugs
- Wool Rugs
- Bamboo Silk/Tencel/Viscose
- Cotton Rugs
- Jute/Sisal/Coir/Hemp/Grass Rugs
- Leather Rugs
- Rubber Floor Coverings
Knots per Inch (KPSI)
A knot per square inch (KPSI) is defined as a measurement of the density of knots in a hand-knotted rug. It determines the quality and durability of the rug. However, the knot count of a hand-knotted rug or carpet is also dependent on other factors such as the design and origin of the rug and hence cannot be considered as the sole determinant of its quality.
The density of the knots in a rug or fineness of a pile rug is assessed by performing a simple calculation. By multiplying the vertical knot count by the horizontal knot count within a given area measurement, which is either square inches or square decimeters, we can measure the density.
To measure the KPSI, the hand-knotted rug is turned over on its back. The individual knots running vertically for 1’’ are then counted, the process repeated for the vertical knots running for 1’’. The two counts are then multiplied and the KPSI measured.
Anything up to approximately 70 to 80 knots/square inch is considered coarse. When the number approaches 100 or exceeds it, the count enters the medium range. When the count approaches about 200 knots, the rug is then considered a fine weave. Unusually finely woven rugs will have a count between 300 to 400 knots per inch and are both rare and expensive.
Moreover, the knot count will depend on the size of the knots and the yarns as well as how tightly the rows of knots and wefts have been compressed vertically.
- The more the KPSI, the more intricately designed and durable the rug is.
- A delicate material such as silk may be used to accommodate more knots into the rug to increase its quality and fineness.
- Rugs with higher KPSI also take more time to weave on the loom; around 5 to 12 months.
Types of Knots
The knots in a hand-knotted rug are of different types deriving their names from the places they originated from. There are five types such as:
Persian Knot or Senneh Knot
Widely used in Iran, Central Asia, India, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, this is a type of asymmetric knot or double knot, where the yarn is draped around two warp strands with only one of the warps being completely encircled. The yarn is then passed open behind the adjoining warp in such a manner that the two ends only have only a single warp to divide them. The knot could be wrapped in either direction and can open either to the right or left. Rugs with Persian knots have very fine detailing.
Turkish or Ghiordes Knot
Commonly used by the Anatolian and Caucasian weaving groups of Turkey and by other Turkish and Kurdish tribes in Iran, this is a type of symmetrical or single knot. It is made by warping the yarn across two adjoining warp strands, and pulling it back through the inside of both warps and drawing it through the centre so that both ends come out between the same warps. Rugs with Turkish knots produce a very secure pile construction.
Originating in Khorassan, Iran, this knot is made when the yarn is wrapped around four warp strands at a time instead of around two strands. Because the wrapping is done across 4 strands, these rugs have a much lower KPSI and the time taken to complete them is much shorter. However, they are inferior in quality and lack the fineness, strength and durability that determine the structural integrity of a rug.
Found primarily in Tibetan carpets, this knot is woven by looping the yarn around two warps and then further around a rod. In this way, an entire row of loops is created and then cut down to make a knot lending an unique and distinctive design to the rug. Though they appear to be thinner than a Persian rug, they are equally durable and long-lasting.
Originating in Spain, the Spanish knot looped around single alternate warps so the ends were brought out on either side. It was mainly in use in Spain, differing from Turkish and Persian knots in that it looped around only one warp yarn.
The Spanish knot could weave angular-patterned carpets that required only a coarsely knotted pile but failed on curvilinear and finely patterned ones that required finer material and a much more densely knotted pile for clear reproduction of their intricate designs. As a result, its popularity waned and it became extremely rare after the 18th century.
Identifying the knot type:
You can identify the type of knot used in any hand-knotted rug by turning it over and examining the construction at its back. The back will display thousands of tiny bumps or loops, squarish in shape, which are the visible parts of the knots as they go around the warp threads.
If you see only two loops or bumps visible across the warp at the place where the knot has been tied, you’ll know that the rug has been constructed using the Ghiordes knot. If you find only one single loop or bump visible, know that the rug has been constructed using the Senneh knot.
If you find that the knot count is half or less than half of the warp count, then the rug has most likely been constructed using the Jufti knot.
Though not identifiable by knots at a first glance, Tibetan rugs will be fine, luxurious, with yellow and grey as popular colours.