How Tibetan Rugs Are Made

The art of Tibetan rug making goes through many stages. First, the raw wool is washed by hand to remove dirt and impurities. After the wool is washed and dried in the sun, it is hand-carded repeatedly with two flat combs to straighten and arrange the fibers. When the fiber reaches the desired texture, it is then hand-spun into yarn for weaving.

Tibetan Rug making technique and process

Tibetan rugs are woven on a rectangular, vertical loom. The loom is warped with high-grade cotton from top to bottom. A metal rod is put horizontally across the warp and yarn is looped over the rod, then onto the warp to make a pile. When the whole knot is made, a cotton weft is put across to separate the pile, then combed and condensed with a wooden hammer once the pile is compacted; it is slit with sharp blades across the metal rod to make a pile. This process is repeated until the rug is made. Tibetan Rugs come in 60, 80 and 100 knots, which is 360, 480 and 600, cut ends per square inch.

Hand knoted Rug Variation on the Tibetan knotting system

Density of knotting structure determines the quality of Tibetan rugs. The number of knots refers to the number per square inch. Higher knot counts cost more because it requires more labor, precision and care. Higher knot counts are woven on a finer warp with more tightly spun yarn and produce a finer rug. The beauty of the higher knot count rugs such as 100 knots rugs allow to achieve more articulated and refined designs.

Final Process to complete the Tibetan Rug

When a Tibetan rug is complete, it is taken off the loom and put through a rigorous process whereby all the loose wool fibers are trimmed off by hand to bring uniformity to its surface. Depending on the design, the master cutter trims the edges of the design for it to stand out. After trimming and inspecting, it is washed and sun dried and stretched so to bring perfect symmetry in the rug.

The Tibetan art of weaving has been developed and transformed through time. Its vibrancy, natural harmony and aesthetics are unlike any other. The unique knotting system and the blend of Tibetan Wool and New Zealand wool gives our rugs exceptional visual depth of field and endless color possibilities unlike any other rugs in the world. Visit one of our seven showrooms to experience the exceptional beauty of Tibetan rugs.

Thanks to Shangri-La Rugs in Berkeley, California for this information.