Rug Knots: The Anatomy of rug weaving

In the previous blog in which we discussed the important things to keep in mind while choosing a rug, we discussed about the durability of the rug. Durability of the rug depends on many factors including the Material, Weave and the place where you are going to spread it. Here we are going to discuss the weaves and the knots used in it. The knowledge of the Knots and it’s density can help you decide the quality and origin of the rugs.

Here is the types of rug weaves which we are going to talk about.

And first of all here is the list of words you will come across, along with their meanings.


Warp: They run North to South. The parallel threads which make the entire length of the rug and provide the base for the knots to be tied.

Weft: They run East to West and makes the width of the rug. They are inserted between two rows of the knots.

Knot: This term is used for a piece of strand which is wrapped around two warps and then cut to form a pile.

Overcasting: A simple yarn that is wrapped around the edges for the entire length of the han woven rug.

Fringe: The visible continuation of warps at both the loose ends of the Rugs

Kilim: The empty web of Warp and Weft. It is also a name for a rug without a Pile.


Flat weave:

Flat woven rugs have been around since hundreds of years in many area of the world. The designs are made using the colored threads used as wefts. They have no knots and the threads are just interwoven, so there is no pile and hence they are known as flat weaves. There are different ways to apply the color change as given below.

1.Slit Weaving: In this the color of the weft changes from a different wrap and         thus there is no interconnection between different colors and it makes a little slit     between the different colors vertically.


2.Dovetailing: In this type of weave the end wrap from where the color is                 supposed to be changed is shared by both the color of the wefts as shown             in the image and this prevents the vertical slit.
3.Staggered Dovetailing: It is suitable for the long joins because joins do               not  form a ridge and are stronger than simple dovetailing. Here three                     wraps are used as shown in the following image and so the distance                     between the rows is reduced. 

4.Single Interlinking: To avoid a slit the threads are interlinked as shown in             the image but it is necessary to pull them right. If pulled too tight the wraps             will be pulled in while if they are loose, the rug will look very messed up                 and bulky.


5.Curves: Draw the curves on the wraps and then use any of the above                    techniques to wrap the weft around the wraps according to the drawing. 


  6.Soumak Weave: This technique of making a Soumak rug uses the                        certain  number of wraps for wrapping the wefts around and then drawn                half the number wrafts back. Usually 4 warps are used but some soumak              rugs use 2 also. See the illustration for more clarification.


7.Basket Weave: Check the illustration. It is one of the simplest methods                 of weaving.


Knotted Rugs:

Persian Knot: This knot is also known as asymmetric knot or Farsibaff. In this knot the yarn is looped around one warp and and is pulled from under the other one. Between every two rows of knots a weft or two are placed. This knot gives the freedom for more details and higher density of the knots. It is used in South Asia, Persian workshops and Turkey, Egypt etc.

Turkish knot: The Symmetrical knot, also sometime known as the Turkish Knot or the Ghiordes knot, goes by the name of the Turkbaff. In this symmetrical knot the yarn is wrapped around two warps and

brought back in, from between them. Check the illustration. A weft or two is placed in between two rows of the knots. It provides stronger and consistent weave and so is used for thicker carpets. This knot is being utilized in Turkey, the Caucasian zone and in the western parts of Iran and by Turkish and Kurdish clans. It is likewise utilized as a part of some European rugs and carpets.

Both of the above types can be divided into two other subclasses:

One Level: It has all the warps in the same level, and so the single knot gives two squares on the back of the rug where we count the knots. We’ll learn how to count rug knots a bit later. The above given images are one level knots.

Two Level: Here every alternate warps are on the same level but it only shows one square for every knot at the back of the rug. This knot gives freedom for more density of knots per inch. Given below are the illustrations.


Tibetan knot: This knot has a very different structure and uses a temporary rod along the width of the rugs placed above the warps. The closed end of the double yarn is passed through two warps and the rod is passed through the closed end. See the image. Once the row is completed the yarn is cut to take out the rod. It seems bit like Jufti Persian Knot but is very different.


Jufti Knots: The knots are placed across four warps instead of two warps. Using this knot helps complete the rug faster but the knot density stays lower.

Tufted Knots:

Tufted knots:

It is made by punching strands of yarn into a canvas that is extended on a frame with the assistance of a hand-operated device. This procedure isn’t extremely time-concentrated and does not require a similar level of ability that hand-knotting does.

After the strands are inserted, the rug is expelled from the frame, and a scrim backing is glued to the back. To finish the carpet, a fringe is included by either sewing or sticking it on. And the pile is then trimmed to give it the open ends and consistent height.


In the next part we’ll talk about the knot density, how to count it and how they are counted in different parts of the world. Let us know if you want to know about any other knot type. Or you can have a look at our workshop photographs.