hand-woven and hand-knotted rugs

Difference between hand-woven and hand-knotted rugs

If we count on similarities, both hand-woven and hand-knotted rugs are good for decorating the floor. Both are handmade, authentic, and their techniques evolved in the ancient period. They may also be regarded as ancient forms of art.

However, they bear aspects of differences that set them apart. While one may excite a particular set of rug enthusiasts, the other may be the preferred choice for another set of buyers.

Since both are handmade, they will add value to a décor compared to machine-made counterparts which are significantly inferior in quality and can easily be identified.

Hand-woven rugs

Difference between hand-woven and hand-knotted rugs

Flatweave rugs with or without pile height are hand-woven rugs. The warp is the beginning of making any rug. They are vertical threads running across the frame on which weft or the horizontal weaving is done. The warp threads are generally cotton but can be other aspired materials. In hand-woven technique, a relatively greater number of warp threads may be catered, thereby facilitating only standard design, and weaving while also requiring lesser accomplishment time and effort.

Quality: The technique may require fewer materials, but the end result is a more detailed rug than many other styles. The quality and aesthetic value of each rug are significantly higher except for the possibilities of design.

Time: Requires relatively lesser time due to less complex design and easier weaving.

Skills: Despite less intricate designs, and fewer details on the weave than hand-knotted rugs, highly skilled artisans are employed to ensure they match in all other aspects that ensure a good quality hand-made rug.

Cost: It is likely that a hand-woven rug is costlier than hand-knotted rugs with less complex designs and therefore short on time and labor investment.

Complexity: The complexity of possible designs in hand-woven rugs is invariably high, but not more than in the hand-knotted technique. Less intricate designs, with some impressive details, are possible.

How to identify a hand-woven rug?

The best way to say if a rug is hand-woven is by flipping over to see the weave. Missing knots and a replica of the design on the surface, uniform, straight weft line running across the width of the rug may confirm the rug is hand-woven on a vertical warp. 

Difference between hand-woven and hand-knotted rugs


Hand-knotted rugs

A hand-knotted rug is produced on a loom, and the weft threads are added later. On the vertical warp, the weavers tie each knot individually to explore the slightest of details in the mapped design. Besides, the designs are generally hand-drawn and require immense accuracy to replicate the same.  

hand knotted rugs

A weft-knotted rug can take months or even years to complete. The tighter the knots, the better the durability. The knots on hand-knotted Persian rugs are tighter than in Tibetan rugs.

Quality: The number of knots per square inch may convey how good is the quality of a hand-knotted rug. In addition, hand-knotted rugs tend to be made with higher-quality natural materials like wool, cotton, and silk. However, it is never restricted to a particular yarn type.

Time: The length of time required to create the hand-knotted rugs are significantly higher. It will depend almost entirely on the number of knots per square inch per day a weaver makes.

Skills: The making of hand-knotted rugs require relatively more skilled artisans to complete the work. The technique requires the modern-day artisans to adopt century’s old knotting technique that was passed down by many generations. 

Cost: Although a replica of a hand-knotted rug is not possible, hand-knotted rugs are more expensive than their seemingly hand-woven counterparts.

Complexity: The complexity of designs that can be achieved through the hand-knotted technique is really impressive. Intricate design, with finer details, can be made which is opposed to hand-woven quality where less intricate designs are possible.   

How to identify a hand-knotted rug?

One has to be visually intelligent to identify knots. Flip over to look for the knots running across the width of the rug. Besides, the weft will form an uneven straight line.

hand-knotted rug

Tibetan knots Vs. Persian knots

Knotting and other weave techniques are age-old techniques that descended down generation by generation. Depending on their region of evolution, each knotting techniques differ in their process, weaving, accomplishments, and design. Both hand-knotted Tibetan rugs and hand-knotted Persian rugs are widely popular and preferred choices in the rug industry.

Hand-knotted Tibetan rugs: Tibetan knotting requires slightly lesser intricacy as the yarn is looped around on a temporary rod and hence at least two warp is taken at a time in making each knot. Hence, modern design and less intricate patterns are most suited to the Tibetan knotting technique.

Hand-knotted Tibetan rugs

Hand-knotted Persian rugs: Unlike Tibetan knotting where mostly modern designs are made, Persian knotting can be practiced to explore any intricate design, complex patterns, curved lines, floral patterns that leaves no gap. Persian knotting is devoid of the restriction of catering to a minimum of two warp at a time and can be worked upon a single warp.

Hand-knotted Persian rugs

A hand-knotted rug will be unique. A well-made hand-knotted rug will have no backing and will likely have the same design on both sides. A hand-knotted rug will most likely have fringe, however, it may have binding on the edges.

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