return to library

Why Knot?

by: Kent Schneider 5/8/08

The oldest known piled rug (the so called Pazyryk Rug) can be dated all the way back to the 5th Century BC.  Scholars have long been debating both the origin of this piece and of weaving in general.  However, what they all agree on is that handwoven rugs have been made continuously in many parts of the world for centuries.  While designs, dying techniques and looms may have changed over time the actual craft of weaving has changed very little.  The majority of piled carpets are still woven today using one of three basic knotting techniques; symmetric knotting, asymmetric knotting, or tibetan knotting.

The process of creating a rug starts with the loom.  Most modern weaving regions today employ the use of a vertical roller loom which allows the artist to sit and weave with the completed sections of the rug being rolled onto a drum.  Some more remote or tribal areas still prefer the use of a horizontal loom that may be quickly staked to the ground and removed at will.  Once the type of loom is selected the loom must be strung.  To do so wool or cotton warps are evenly spaced and stretched the length of the loom and then tensioned.  Once the loom is strung the knotting may begin.

The two most common knots used in traditional “oriental” rugs are the Persian (asymmetric) and Turkish (symmetrical) as show below.  The use of these knot tends to be regional but is not always a clear indicator of origination as weaving styles have blended over the centuries.  Regardless of origin,  the  technique is very similar.  Each knot in a row is tied by hand using the colored wool selected by the weaver to create the desired pattern.  Once the row is completed another continuous length of yarn (either wool or cotton and usually not dyed) is passed over and under each successive warp string and packed down against the tied knots to secure them.  This is called the weft.


weaving knots

The number of wefts in a rug will vary, but in general the greater the number of wefts in a rug the coarser its construction will be (This does not always mean that it is of a lower quality or value.  Many rugs are given multiple wefts to produce a unique texture).

The third common weaving style is the Tibetan knot.  The Tibetan knot varies significantly from its Turkish and Persian counterparts in that each loop is not individually tied.  Instead a continuous yarn is wrapped along the length of a gauge rod and then cut with a knife resulting in two rows of pile as shown below.

Tibetan knots


Regardless of  the knotting style used the result is astonishing if one considers what actually goes into the finished product.

· The average dining room will accommodate a 9x12 rug.  That is 108 sq.ft or 15,552

· The average rug we stock here at Verde Home has between 70 and 100 knots per square inch.

· That would be 1,555,200 hand tied knots in a 100 knot 9x12 rug!  If the weaver ties a knot a second (which is very fast) this is 432 hours of weaving!


At Verde Home we specialize in Tibetan woven rugs originating from Nepal.  Our stock  in these fabulous pieces is constantly increasing as we strive to become the premier Tibetan rug dealer in Georgia.  If you are interested in learning more about these fabulous rugs or would like to see some in person, please feel free to stop by or contact us with any questions.

return to library

1000 marietta st, suite 244 - atlanta, ga 30318 - phn(678)927-9113 -

Monday 12-5, Tuesday through Friday 10-6, Saturday 12-5, Closed on Sunday

copyright 2018 verde home inc. - all rights reserved