Archive for the ‘Rug Manufacture’ Category

Handmade Rugs

Sunday, February 6th, 2011
To make an original hooked rug, you will need the following-  wool cloth scraps torn into 6mm strips, a rug hook, burlap or linen backing please not that this should have a design drawn onto it, an embroider hoop or rug hooking frame.

If you choose to go with a prepared kit, you will get rug hooking jute that has a silk-screen design on it, also a color location chart, rug hook, 100 percent wool cable yarn, rug hook and rug binding. One advantage of the kits is a color photo you can refer to so you can check your progress as you are working. Rug hooking is a crafting and hooking technique developed by housewives in pioneer times in America who were trying to create a warmer, more comfortable environment inside their home. Back then the floors were damp and cold and pioneer families would pitch in to help create these rugs.


Fasten your pattern (the linen or burlap backing) onto a stretcher bar, hoop or a rug hooking frame. Cut the strips of wool to approximately 6mm wide and at least 20cm long. Hold your hook in your dominant hand and hold the strip of wool in the other hand. Push your hook down through the backing, catch the wool and pull it up through the burlap. Make sure you pull the first end up through to the top of the burlap as well, continue your hooking, loop by loop, making loops all the same height. Space your loops approximately three burlap strands apart so you don’t crowd your loops too much.

Wool rugs are pretty cool

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Wool is one of the heaviest fibres in use meaning that rugs that are primarily wool are non slip. This is why we advise that an non-slip sheet underneath our rugs is unnecessary. If you have laminate flooring then a non-slip sheet can be used and probably should be used if you have a small rug.

Woollen rugs are also non allergenic so you have no need to worry about your family or pets having an adverse reaction to it. If you do however have a skin problem like eczema then it is advised not to spend too much time near wool as in some cases it makes the inflammation worse.

Wool is a very durable fabric and can last for many, many years. It is used in persian rugs and there is prove that these rugs last for hundreds of years. Soon we will have our own range of persian rugs for sale.

Blog about Rugs

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

There isn’t much to say about rugs, believe me it is a limited subject. After you have written about where the rugs come from and how the are made it can get hard to come up with something original.

I have been writing this blog for a while now and I have to write about 3 a week which is hard because I can’t find something new each time I write a blog. There are certain things even I find is uninspiring,  like how expensive a persian rug is. I don’t even understand why… is it because they are so prestigious, or maybe their beauty? Some of them are blatantly not very well made either, like cheap copies.

As I have now taken over the company (for a bit) the pressure is on for me to get things done. I can’t be slacking off because I have a lot more responsibilities, like writing this blog for example now feels like a waste of time when I should be taking payments or sorting deliveries, but instead I buckle down and find some new material to write about.

Shaggy rugs are probably my favourite type of rug that we supply. I like the feel of them and there dense pile.

Well I have to go and take a payment so this is the end of this.

Until Friday, bye for now.

A Little bit about Persian rugs

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

The art of carpet weaving has existed in Iran since ancient times. This is proven by  the 2500-year-old Pazyryk carpet, dating back to 500 B.C., during back to the Achaemenid period.

The first documented evidence on the existence of Persian carpets came from Chinese texts dating back to the Sassanid period (224 – 641 AD).

This art underwent many changes in various eras of the Iranian history to an extent that it passed an upward trend before the Islamic era until the Mongol invasion of Iran. After the invasion, the art began to grow again during the Timurid and Ilkhanid dynasties.

Over time the materials used in carpets, including wool, silk and cotton, will decay. Therefore archaeologists are rarely able to make any particularly useful discoveries during archaeological excavations. What has remained from early times as evidence of carpet-weaving is nothing more than a few pieces of worn-out carpets. Such fragments do not help very much in recognizing the carpet-weaving characteristics of pre-Seljuk period (13th and 14th centuries AD) in Persia.

The weaving of pile rugs is a difficult and tedious process which, depending on the quality and size of the rug, may take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete.

To begin making a rug, one needs a foundation consisting of warps strong, thick threads of cotton, wool or silk which run the length of the rug and wefts similar threads which pass under and over the warps from one side to the other. The warps on either side of the rug are normally combined into one or more cables of varying thickness that are overcast to form the selvedge.

Weaving normally begins by passing a number of wefts through the bottom warp to form a base to start from. Loosely piled knots of dyed wool or silk are then tied around consecutive sets of adjacent warps to create the intricate patterns in the rug. As more rows are tied to the foundation, these knots become the pile of the rug. Between each row of knots, one or more shots of weft are passed to tightly pack down and secure the rows.
Depending on the fineness of the weave, the quality of the materials and the expertise of the weavers, the knot count of a hand made rug can vary anywhere from 16 to 550 knots per square inch.

When the rug is completed, the warp ends form the fringes that may be weft-faced, braided, tasseled, or secured in some other manner.

Tibetan Rugs

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Tibetan rug making is an ancient, traditional craft. Tibetan rugs are traditionally made from Tibetan highland sheep’s wool, called changpel. Tibetans use the rugs for all sorts of reasons ranging from flooring to wall hanging to horse saddles, though the most common use is seating carpet. A typical seat carpet around 3ft x 5ft is called a khaden.

The process of making a tibetan rug is unique, the knotting method is different from that used in many other rug making traditions. With the introduction of modern technology some aspects of the rug making processes have been taken over by machine, in particular yarn spinning and trimming of the pile after weaving. This is primarily because of cost, disappearance of knowledge etc. Nevertheless, the finest carpets are those still made in the traditional method, by hand.

With Tibet’s occupation by Chinese communists during the 1950s, Tibetan refugees started migrating to India and Nepal. With them they also brought their knowledge of rug making. Currently in Nepal the rug business is one of the largest industries in the country and there are many rug exporters. Tibet also has weaving workshops, but the export side of the industry is relatively undeveloped compared with Nepal and India.

An article on The Rug Company

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

One of the biggest name in rug design and manufacture in the UK is The Rug company. Set up by  Christopher and Suzanne Sharp in 1997 The Rug Company have only but prospered in the rug market. In the beginning the rug market was filled with old rugs descended from old traditional persian rugs. Their mission was to inject originality and design into the rug market and that is exactly what they have down. I’m sure they aren’t the first to do it but they have collaborated with many fashion designers on their rugs. Original versions of Paul Smith’s candy-striped Swirl, Vivienne Westwood’s ineffably British Flag and Marni’s brilliantly bold Margherita are becoming increasingly collectable. “Hopefully, people will look back on this period and see that it was an interesting time for rugs,” says Christopher. All of their rugs are made by Tibetan weavers based in Nepal, each rug is spun, cleaned, dyed and knotted entirely by hand, in ethically sound conditions.

Christopher says: “We set out to do one thing and we have stuck to it. We make great rugs. Not furniture, not tables, not chairs, just rugs.”

New and Innovative Bespoke Rugs

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Modern rugs can make a room feel homely and comfortable whilst adding taste to a room, much like owning a large rug by Henzel of Sweden. They excel in colour and art but also being practical- Henzel wool is durable and resilient but is also comfortable and safe. Henzel use the purest, cleanest, wool from New Zealand. The Henzel Studio is based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Their primary aim is to design and manufacture individual pieces of great originality.

NEL, an evolving collective of Mexican designers, commissioned this bespoke rug by Spanish rug and carpet company Nanimarquina. The large rug, aptly name Global Warming contrasts the comfort and softness of a bespoke rug with a thorny problem that is specific to our time. Following the age-old tradition of using wool rugs as a means for communication and a cultural record, NEL is portraying global warming in a scene that invites us to reflect on our impact on today’s world.

From the Sheep to the Rug

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Washing the Fleece

Sheep almost always live in the open air, and even the more primitive breeds no longer shed their wool at the end of the winter. This means that they get dirty – often VERY dirty – dusty, muddy and sweaty with lots of entangled bits and pieces. It must be such a relief to dash away from the shearer, free of all that weight, smell and heat. Rugs and carpets, however, be they modern or antique, smooth or shaggy, are expected to be pretty or smart colours and to lack that distinctive aroma that shouts ‘sheep!’

To bridge the gap, the first process towards your rug is scouring, which means washing and rinsing the wool to remove most of the impurities, from sweat to bits of twig. In some breeds (the very sweaty ones) this can reduce the weight of the fleece by up to 50%, but the wool usually used for Designerug rugs and carpets loses only about 25 – 30% of weight in this process – so you know that your shaggy rug may have come from a shaggy sheep, but at least it hasn’t come from a very smelly one!

Scouring, in the case of wool, means gently washing in a detergent mixture, then rinsing until it is free of dirt and detergent both. The wool is usually passed through a series of long, narrow tanks on a belt. Each tank is equipped with a set of gently moving paddles to keep the water moving without tangling the wool. The first tank contains the cleaning mixture, which rapidly becomes extremely dirty. After that, it is pressed through rollers to remove as much water as is possible without turning the whole thing into felt. Then the belt moves it along, in and out of rinsing baths, each rinse being followed by a further gentle pressing. By the fifth bath the cleaning materials have been washed out and the wool looks bright and clean, and shows a surprising range of shades, from palest cream to beige. Of course, there are also black sheep, but their wool is separated out before the scouring. The final process is drying and fluffing, which happens as the belt moves through an oven and the wool is dried with jets of very warm air. Now it is ready for the next stage – the spinning.

Spinning the Wool

Blending.  Ideally, all the spun wool will be a standard colour so the dyer will be able to judge quickly how to produce that puce you chose for your designerug pattern. Unfortunately the sheep are not too interested in that part of the job, and their coats vary over a surprising range, according to age, diet and specialized breeding.

The Blender is the man who sorts that problem out, judging by sight which bales of washed wool have to be dumped into the big blending bin (like an enormous mixing bowl, with paddles) to give an even-coloured yarn at the end. In the blending bin the wool is tossed and stirred to mix up all the different bales of wool, but carefully enough to avoid tangling them. This makes sure that there won’t be darker or lighter lengths in the final yarn. At the same time, a special oil is added to the wool to avoid what could be a dangerous build-up of static electricity as thee wool is processed (most of this oil comes off onto the machines themselves, and the rest is removed in the dyeing process). The man who works as a blender has a very dusty job, although the wool has been washed, and a mask is a necessary part of his equipment.

Assia – One of Rug designers best hand tufters

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Hand-making carpets is a job for the patient. At a nearby carpet factory resigned-looking women knot different coloured wool onto a base by hand. They produce traditional carpets with intricate designs, gossiping steadily as they work, but it is s-l-o-o-w.

hand Made Rugs

Assia is of a different breed. 4ft 6in high, give or take an inch, make-up exactly right, hair covered correctly, but with a fine line of lace across her forehead, which adds a touch of elegance, and dressed in a neat top and jeans, she exudes competence and energy and is the most experienced carpet maker of the Rug Designer team.

The day we meet she is masking a sample rug, a complicated ‘peacocks feather’ design in cream, outlined in brown and raised against a cream background. The backing has already been printed from the picture received by email from England, with the design and the reference numbers for the colours. It is stretched onto a traditional carpet loom, then a machine that looks like a hand gun is filled with one of the colours, and a patch is filled in. The gun knots the wool almost exactly like the old ‘by hand’ method, but a lot quicker. It looks no more difficult than ‘painting by numbers’, but I suspect that keeping the colours within their boundaries and getting the correct density is more of an art than it seems!

Assia is, as I said, tiny, and petite in everything except personality. She is unmarried at thirty two, so considers herself as beyond being eligible. She lives with her parents and younger sister, and is allowed to go out to work because Abdul Kader, the foreman and general factotum, does a ‘bus run’, collecting all the women from their homes and returning them at the end of the day. Even a power-house like Assia has to fit in with the social order she lives in, though that does not stop her from being enthusiastic about work. She likes all the different patterns, and clearly enjoys trying out different texture ideas.

Carpet & Rug manufacture in Aleppo, Syria

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Getting a carpet made just for yourself is part of a long tradition that is still carried out on a fairly small scale.
A few miles down the road from here, in a small Kurdish town called Affrin, there are women doing just that. In a small factory unit, a few women sit at looms and patiently knot coloured wool by hand onto a backing. Each worker has the design they’re working on placed where he/she can refer to it easily, and the design is worked line by line until the carpet is finished. The designs are traditional ones, Turkish or Persian, and a large carpet can take more than a month of pushing pieces of coloured wool through the back, returning them to the front and knotting them off. It takes a very patient worker to concentrate for that long, though they find time to chat or to sing along with the radio. What they would make of modern patterns I cannot imagine, they are so used to their ancient designs that it would be difficult to get them to try!

Rug Designer uses a different technique to give customers exactly what they want. Instead of the drudgery of pushing the wool through by hand, and the constant referring to the picture of the pattern, the picture is printed on the backing, and the wool is knotted in using a hand machine that does the same job, but easier. Instead of putting in the wool line by line and constantly changing the colours in her hand, the Rug Designer carpet maker fills in each colour on the rug, rather like the Painting By Numbers set you had as a child. The difference is that she never gets the colours mixed up, or goes over the lines, as you used to do!

The new method has produced a new type of worker. They expect to finish a rug in days rather than weeks, and have a much brisker, more professional attitude to work. If the customer wants traditional, they’ll do that. However if another customer has ordered something completely different, they enjoys the contrast.