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RUGS 101

Rug Care Quick Tips:  

  • Do not use a beater bar vacuum attachment on hand made products. 
  • Spot clean with a few drops of clear dish soap mixed with warm water.
  • Rotate rugs every 6 months for even fading and wear.

For frequently asked questions: 

Please visit our FAQ's page.

About Rug Construction:

Hand Knotted:

Hand-knotting rugs is an intense labor of love whereby each tuft in a rug is created by tying a knot around a warp thread. This ancient and time-honored technique of weaving is extremely intricate, time-consuming, and demands ability that most weavers can only achieve after years of training. Larger rugs often employ as many as a dozen skilled artisans working on a single rug at the same time. This process may take as few as three months and as long as one year to yield a single rug. The finer the knot, that is to say the higher the knot count, the more intricate and valuable the rug can be. Hand knotted rugs will remain as beautiful as the day they were purchased for twenty or more years even in high traffic areas when properly cared for.  

Online hand knotted collections:  
Antique & Vintage 
Tibetan
Transitional 
Traditional

One of a kind by size:
Small & Scatters
Medium
Room size
All Runners  

 

   
Above: Kashee's Manufacturing Facility in Pakistan
Below is a great video Courtesy of: Amara Rugs on the making of hand knotted rugs. 

Hand Tufted:

Tufting a rug is a manner of rug construction whereby canvas is attached to a frame, a pattern is then sketched on the canvas and tufts of yarn are punched through it following the pattern - much like color-by-numbers. The lack of knots, though, requires that a latex glue be applied to the canvas base, over which a secondary layer of canvas is attached. The surface pile is then sheered to produce an even, cut-pile surface. Due to their affordability, rugs of this craft are an emerging trend in home furnishing design. Tufted rugs are prone to shedding, both when they are new and again as the latex begins to break down.  As with all constructions, not all are created equal, some tufted rugs will shed for their duration, while others will slow down as the extra fiber is worn and vacuumed away.  Tufted rugs have a life expectancy of  7-10 years under average use.

Online collection: hand tufted

 

Hand Hooked:

Hooked rugs are constructed in the same manner as tufted rugs with one distinct difference, the yarn is punched through a canvas, but the surface is not sheared, creating a looped pile. The life expectancy is slightly shorter than tufted rugs because they tend to be less dense leaving the fibers more vulnerable to wear. 

Online hand hooked collections: 
Americana
Hand Hooked
Cotton Hooked

 

Hand Woven or Flat Weave:

Also referred to as Soumak (double sided weave), Kilim ( traditionally from Turkey) or Dhurrie ( traditionally from India).  A simple but durable rug, flat-woven rugs are among the most basic and beautiful of all hand-loomed floor coverings. The underlying art of flat-woven rugs is their ability to be reversed, and their suitability in nearly any setting, from the rustic to the cosmopolitan. Hand woven or flat woven rugs are known for their durability and cleanability since they do not have a backing.  As with all constructions not all are created equal, look for weight and softness of the yarn. Life expectancy can be just slightly less than hand knotted rugs. 

Online hand woven collections:
Classic Flat weave
Traditional Flat weave
Transitional Flat weave

 

 Machine Made:

Also referred to as power loomed, or wilton weave.  Some higher quality machine made rugs can last nearly as long hand knotted rugs, look for denser pile and soft backing. Machine made rugs would include broadloom or wall to wall carpet which can be cut and bound to shape and size, offering a fully customizable look for less cost than a hand made option. Life expectancy can be less than 10 years for lower quality or 20+ for high quality axminsters which have been in production in the UK since the 18th century.  

 Online collection:  Machine Made 

 

About Rug Making Materials:

For a more in depth look at rug making materials, please take a look at our Blog "Materials Matter."

Wool:

Wool fiber has characteristics that make it ideal for rug construction. Wool contains lanolin, making it inherently moisture and water repellent. These natural properties of wool make it stain resistant, thus easy to clean and maintain. Many types of wool are used in rug construction, the main difference between them is the strength of the fiber. Sheep that are raised at higher altitudes withstand severe weather conditions, making them grow a stronger, more resilient wool. Himalayan wool for example icomes from sheep raised in the extreme conditions found in the Himalayan Mountains and produce fibers used in most Tibetan rugs. This wool is extremely dense, strong and soft. Ghazni wool, used in the Afghanistan - Pakistan region, creates a silk-like softness and sheen which is characteristic of rugs produced in these regions. New Zealand wool may be the most widely used and considered by some to be the most effective for area rugs.

Cotton:

Cotton is a natural fiber of great durability and strength. Each fiber is made up of twenty to thirty layers of cellulose coiled in a neat series of natural springs. When the cotton boll, or seed case is opened the fibers dry into flat, twisted, ribbon like shapes and become kinked together and interlocked. This interlocked form is ideal for spinning into fine yarn.

Bamboo Silk (Art Silk, Silkette, or Viscose):

Bamboo Silk has much of the same look and feel as silk, but is a more sustainable and lower cost alternative. These fibers are often used as accents in wool rugs giving them added texture and shine. Bamboo Silk is itself a type of viscose (also called Art Silk).  Standard viscose is always made from wood cellulose while bamboo silk is made exclusively from bamboo cellulose. In both cases the base material is processed into a paste which is then combined with other ingredients, extruded and dried to produce the the fibers. Bamboo Silk is not easily cleaned as any liquid including water can stain it, it is best to use a professional cleaner.

Hand Spun Wool:

Hand spinning is a much more expensive and time consuming process than machine spinning, but it has two distinct advantages. Hand spinning breaks down fewer fibers of wool, so the end result is a stronger fiber and longer wearing wool. Hand spun wool has an irregular diameter, which gives the rug a more interesting texture. Rugs made with hand spun wool are prone to "sprouting," where the ends of yarns uncurl as they are walked upon and vacuumed, simply trim these ends even with the rest of the rugs pile, do not pull. For more on sprouting visit our Blog.

 

Vegetable Dye Wool: 

Natural or vegetal dyed wool yarn has been used by rug makers in the Middle East and Asia for thousands of years.  Colors produced in this time honored tradition are saturated without being edgy or harsh, are chamingly variegated especially when done in conjunction with hand spinning.  The effect of the irregularity of color is a rug that is vibrant and unique, with it's own individual character. 

 

 

  

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