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Hand-Knotted Rugs

What is a hand-knotted rug?

A hand-knotted rug is a type of rug crafted entirely by hand using traditional weaving techniques. Skilled artisans tie individual knots onto the rug's foundation, typically made of cotton, wool, or silk fibers, creating intricate patterns and designs. Each knot is tied by hand, making hand-knotted rugs highly labor-intensive and crafted with great care and precision. This intricate process creates durable and high-quality rugs known for their beauty and longevity.

How are hand-knotted rugs made?

Hand-knotted rugs are made through a labor-intensive and intricate process that involves skilled artisans meticulously weaving individual knots by hand.

  1. Design Preparation: The rug's design is first conceptualized either by the artisan or based on a predetermined pattern. Designs can be traditional, contemporary, or custom-made to suit specific preferences.

  2. Material Selection: High-quality natural fibers such as wool, silk, or cotton are selected for the rug's pile (the visible surface of the rug) and foundation (the base on which the pile is attached). The type and quality of materials used can significantly impact the final appearance and durability of the rug.

  3. Warp and Weft Preparation: The foundation of the rug is created using warp and weft threads. The warp threads are stretched vertically on a loom and serve as the framework for the rug, while the weft threads are woven horizontally between the warp threads to secure them in place.

  4. Knotting Process: With the loom set up, the artisan begins the knotting process. Each knot is tied around pairs of warp threads, either individually or in clusters, depending on the desired knot density and design complexity. The two most common types of knots used in our hand-knotted rugs are the Persian knot (also known as the asymmetrical knot) and the Napalease weave (also known as the symmetrical knot).

  5. Pile Formation: As the knots are tied, they create the pile of the rug, forming the surface texture and design. The density and height of the pile can vary depending on the knotting technique used and the desired look and feel of the rug.

  6. Finishing Touches: Once the knotting is complete, the rug undergoes several finishing processes to secure the knots, trim the pile to a uniform height, and clean the surface. The edges of the rug may be bound or fringed to prevent unraveling and add decorative detail.

  7. Washing and Drying: The finished rug is washed to remove any excess dirt, oils, or debris accumulated during the weaving process. It is then dried thoroughly in the sun or using specialized drying equipment to ensure it retains its shape and color vibrancy.

  8. Final Inspection: Before being packaged and shipped, the rug undergoes a final inspection to ensure quality control. Any imperfections or inconsistencies are addressed, and the rug is carefully rolled and wrapped to protect it during transit.

Overall, the process of hand-knotting a rug requires skill, patience, and attention to detail, resulting in a unique and beautiful piece of craftsmanship that can be treasured for generations.

How can I tell if a rug is hand-knotted?

Look for inconsistencies and imperfections in the rug's design, which are characteristic of handmade rugs. You can also flip the rug over to examine the back—if you see the same pattern as the front, it's likely hand-knotted. Additionally, hand-knotted rugs often have fringe that is an extension of the rug's foundation, rather than sewn or glued on.

How are hand-knotted rugs different from other types of rugs?

Hand-knotted rugs differ from other types of rugs primarily in their construction method and quality. Unlike machine-made rugs, which are mass-produced using automated processes. Hand-knotted rugs are meticulously crafted by skilled artisans requires expertise and can take weeks, months, or even years to complete depending on the size and complexity of the rug, resulting in unique designs and superior durability. Additionally, hand-knotted rugs tend to have a higher knot density, which contributes to their longevity and luxurious feel.

What materials are used in hand-knotted rugs?

Hand-knotted rugs can be made from various materials including wool, silk, cotton, and sometimes blends of these fibers. Wool is the most common material due to its durability, softness, and ability to hold dyes well. Silk is often used for its luxurious appearance and sheen. These materials offer different textures and sheens, allowing designers to create rugs with unique visual and tactile qualities. Additionally, contemporary rugs may feature mixed materials or unconventional combinations, such as wool and bamboo silk, to achieve specific design effects.

Are hand-knotted rugs durable?

Hand-knotted rugs are indeed durable due to several key factors. First and foremost, their construction involves a meticulous process where skilled artisans tie each knot by hand onto a sturdy foundation of warp threads. This results in a tightly woven structure that can withstand heavy foot traffic and regular use without fraying or coming apart.

Additionally, hand-knotted rugs are typically crafted from high-quality natural materials like wool, silk, or cotton, known for their resilience and longevity. The tight weave and dense pile of these rugs further contribute to their durability, preventing fibers from shifting or loosening over time. As a result, hand-knotted rugs are not only durable but also capable of lasting for generations with proper care and maintenance. Even in the rare event of damage, these rugs are often repairable by skilled professionals, ensuring their longevity and continued enjoyment in your home.

What are the benefits of hand-knotted rugs?

Hand-knotted rugs offer numerous benefits when incorporated into your living space:

  1. Elevated Aesthetic: Hand-knotted rugs add a touch of luxury and sophistication to any room. Their intricate designs, vibrant colors, and exquisite craftsmanship serve as focal points, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of your space.

  2. Unique Character: Each hand-knotted rug is a one-of-a-kind piece of art, reflecting the skill and creativity of the artisan who crafted it. This uniqueness adds personality and charm to your space, setting it apart from mass-produced rugs.

  3. Longevity and Durability: Hand-knotted rugs are renowned for their durability and longevity. Crafted with high-quality natural fibers and traditional weaving techniques, they can withstand years of use without showing signs of wear and tear, making them a lasting investment for your home.

  4. Comfort and Softness: The dense pile of hand-knotted rugs provides a soft and plush surface underfoot, adding warmth and comfort to your space. Whether placed in a living room, bedroom, or dining area, these rugs create a cozy atmosphere that invites relaxation and enjoyment.

  5. Versatility: Hand-knotted rugs come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and designs, making them versatile pieces that can complement any decor style. Whether you prefer traditional, modern, or eclectic interiors, there's a hand-knotted rug to suit your aesthetic preferences and spatial requirements.

  6. Sound and Thermal Insulation: The thick pile of hand-knotted rugs acts as an effective sound and thermal insulator, reducing noise levels and helping to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. This makes them ideal for homes with hardwood or tile flooring, where sound dampening and insulation are desired.

  7. Investment Value: Hand-knotted rugs are not only beautiful additions to your space but also valuable assets that can appreciate in value over time. Antique or vintage hand-knotted rugs, in particular, are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, making them a wise investment for the future.

Overall, incorporating hand-knotted rugs into your living space enhances its visual appeal, comfort, and functionality, while also adding a touch of timeless elegance and luxury.

How do I clean and maintain a hand-knotted rug?

Proper care is essential to maintain the beauty and longevity of a hand-knotted rug. Regular vacuuming is important to remove surface dirt and debris. Avoid using rotating brushes or beater bars, as they can damage the rug's pile. In addition to vacuuming for deeper cleaning, professional rug cleaning is recommended every three to five years, depending on the rug's condition and use, especially for valuable or delicate rugs. Avoid using harsh chemicals or steam cleaning, as these methods can damage the fibers and structure of the rug.

Are hand-knotted rugs worth the investment?

Hand-knotted rugs are generally considered a worthwhile investment due to their exceptional quality, craftsmanship, and longevity. While they may have a higher upfront cost compared to machine-made rugs, hand-knotted rugs often retain their value and can even appreciate over time, especially if they are antique or made by renowned artisans. Additionally, the beauty and uniqueness of hand-knotted rugs can enhance the aesthetic appeal and value of any space, making them a valuable addition to any home or collection.

Can hand-knotted rugs be custom-made?

Yes, many rug artisans and manufacturers offer custom hand-knotted rug services. You can choose the size, shape, materials, colors, and design to create a rug that perfectly suits your space and preferences. Custom-made rugs may take longer to produce and come with a higher price tag, but they offer the opportunity to own a truly unique piece.

Will the rug's colours fade with prolonged sunlight exposure?

Concerns of fading from sun exposure in hand-knotted rugs may be mitigated for several reasons:

  1. Quality of Dyes: High-quality Swiss dyes are used in majority of our Contemproary and Traditional collections. Swiss dyes are formulated to resist fading and maintain their vibrancy over time, even when exposed to sunlight. These dyes undergo rigorous testing and quality control measures to ensure their durability and colourfastness

  2. Longevity of Colour: While some fading may occur naturally over time due to exposure to sunlight, high-quality Swiss dyes are designed to maintain their colour intensity and vibrancy for extended periods. The fading process is typically gradual and uniform, resulting in a gracefully aged appearance rather than noticeable discolouration.

  3. Protective Measures: There are various protective measures that can be taken to minimize sun damage and fading in hand-knotted rugs, such as using window treatments like blinds or curtains to block direct sunlight, rotating the rug periodically to ensure even exposure, and applying UV-protective coatings to windows.

  4. Appreciation of Aging: Many rug enthusiasts and collectors appreciate the natural aging process of hand-knotted rugs, including subtle changes in colour and patina over time. Fading due to sun exposure can contribute to the rug's character and charm, adding to its aesthetic appeal and telling a story of its journey within the home.

Overall, while some fading of Swiss dyes in hand-knotted rugs may occur over time when exposed to sunlight, it is often considered a natural and inevitable part of the rug's lifecycle.

By taking preventive measures and embracing the rug's natural aging process, concerns about fading can be minimized, allowing you to continue to enjoy the beauty and craftsmanship of the rug for years to come.


Lanolin is a natural substance found in wool fibers, including those used in hand-knotted wool rugs. It is a waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep and other wool-bearing animals, and it serves several purposes:

  1. Moisture Regulation: Lanolin helps to repel water and moisture, making wool naturally water-resistant. This property is beneficial in hand-knotted rugs, as it helps to protect the fibers from moisture damage and mold growth.

  2. Softness and Smoothness: Lanolin contributes to the soft and smooth texture of wool fibers, giving hand-knotted rugs a luxurious feel underfoot. It helps to maintain the suppleness and flexibility of the wool, enhancing the overall comfort and tactile appeal of the rug.

  3. Natural Protection: Lanolin has inherent antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which help to inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms in the wool fibers. This natural protection helps to keep hand-knotted wool rugs clean and hygienic, reducing the risk of odors and allergens.

  4. Fiber Strength and Resilience: Lanolin acts as a natural conditioner for wool fibers, helping to keep them strong, elastic, and resistant to wear and tear. It helps to maintain the structural integrity of the rug, prolonging its lifespan and durability.

In hand-knotted wool rugs, lanolin is an essential component that contributes to the overall quality, performance, and longevity of the rug. It is one of the reasons why wool is prized as a natural fiber for rug-making, offering numerous benefits in terms of comfort, durability, and sustainability.

Rug Sizes

How do I choose the right hand-knotted rug for my space?

Choosing the right hand-knotted rug for your space involves considering several factors to ensure it complements your decor, fits your lifestyle, and meets your practical needs.

  1. Determine the Size: Measure the area where you intend to place the rug to determine the appropriate size. Consider whether you want the rug to cover the entire floor or define a specific seating or dining area within the room.

  2. Consider the Style and Design: Choose a rug that complements the style of your space. Traditional hand-knotted rugs feature intricate patterns and motifs, while contemporary rugs may have more abstract or modern designs. Consider the color scheme, pattern, and overall aesthetic of your room when selecting a rug to ensure it harmonizes with the existing decor.

  3. Evaluate the Pile Height and Texture: Decide on the desired pile height and texture based on the rug's intended use and the level of comfort you prefer. High-pile rugs add warmth and softness to a room, while low-pile rugs are easier to clean and maintain but offer less cushioning.

  4. Choose the Right Material: Select a rug material that suits your lifestyle and preferences. Wool is a popular choice for its durability, stain resistance, and softness, while silk adds a luxurious sheen and elegance to the rug.

  5. Factor in Maintenance: Consider the level of maintenance required for the rug and whether it fits your lifestyle. Wool rugs are typically easier to clean and maintain than silk rugs, which may require more delicate care. However silk fibre is stronger than wool, so don't panic if you made a mess on your silk.

  6. Test the Rug in Your Space: Whenever possible, test the rug in your space before making a final decision. Lay the rug down and observe how it looks in different lighting conditions and how it interacts with the other elements in the room. This will help you visualize how the rug will complement your decor and whether it meets your expectations.

By considering these factors and taking the time to find the right hand-knotted rug for your space, you can ensure that it not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your room but also provides comfort, durability, and long-lasting enjoyment.

Rug Size Guide

  1. Living Room:

    • Small Living Room: 5' x 8' to 6' x 9'
    • Medium Living Room: 8' x 10' to 9' x 12'
    • Large Living Room: 9' x 12' to 10' x 14' or larger
  2. Dining Room:

    • Small Dining Room: 6' x 9' to 8' x 10' (for a 4-seater table)
    • Medium Dining Room: 8' x 10' to 9' x 12' (for a 6-seater table)
    • Large Dining Room: 9' x 12' to 10' x 14' (for an 8-seater table or larger)
  3. Bedroom:

    • Twin or Single Bed: 3' x 5' to 4' x 6'
    • Double or Full Bed: 5' x 8' to 6' x 9'
    • Queen Bed: 6' x 9' to 8' x 10'
    • King Bed: 8' x 10' to 9' x 12' or larger
  4. Entryway/Hallway:

    • Entryway: 2' x 3' to 3' x 5'
    • Hallway Runner: 2'6" x 8' to 3' x 10' or longer, depending on the length of the hallway
  5. Kitchen:

    • Kitchen Rug: 2' x 3' to 3' x 5' for smaller kitchens or in front of the sink
    • Kitchen Runner: 2'6" x 6' to 3' x 8' for longer kitchen counters or islands

These are general guidelines, and the actual rug size may vary depending on the specific layout and dimensions of your room.

Furniture Placement on the Rug

  1. Fully On: In some spaces, particularly living rooms or dining areas, furniture may be placed fully on the rug. This creates a cohesive and grounded look, where all furniture pieces are visually connected by the rug. Fully placing furniture on the rug can also help define and anchor the seating or dining area within the room.

  2. Half On, Half Off: Alternatively, in certain design schemes, furniture may be placed half on and half off the rug. This approach adds visual interest and dimension to the space while still maintaining a sense of connection between the furniture pieces and the rug. It can create a sense of openness and spaciousness in the room.

  3. No Furniture On the Rug: In some cases, particularly in bedrooms or smaller sitting areas, the rug may be placed entirely underneath the furniture, with none of the legs touching the rug. This approach can work well with smaller accent rugs or when using rugs purely for decorative purposes rather than functional ones. It allows the rug to serve as an accent piece, adding color, pattern, and texture to the room without dominating the space.

Ultimately, the choice of rug size and furniture placement depends on factors such as the size and layout of the room, the function of the space, and the overall design aesthetic you wish to achieve. Experimenting with different rug sizes and furniture arrangements can help you find the perfect balance and create a harmonious and inviting atmosphere in your space.

What size should the rug be in proportion to the room?

The size of the rug in proportion to the room depends on several factors, including the size of the room, the layout of furniture, and the desired aesthetic. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine the appropriate rug size for different rooms:

  1. Living Room:

    • Large Room: In a spacious living room, a large rug that covers a significant portion of the floor can anchor the seating area and create a cohesive look. Ideally, all the front legs of the furniture should sit on the rug, or the entire furniture grouping can sit within the rug's borders.
    • Medium Room: For a medium-sized living room, a rug that accommodates the main seating area, with the front legs of sofas and chairs on the rug, can help define the space and create visual harmony.
    • Small Room: In a smaller living room, a rug that sits entirely under the coffee table or extends slightly beyond the furniture grouping can add warmth and texture without overwhelming the space.
  2. Dining Room:

    • In the dining room, the rug should be large enough to accommodate the dining table and chairs, even when the chairs are pulled out. Ideally, there should be at least 24-36 inches of rug extending beyond the edges of the table to allow for comfortable seating and movement.
  3. Bedroom:

    • Under the Bed: In the bedroom, a rug that extends several feet beyond the sides and foot of the bed can create a luxurious and cohesive look. Alternatively, you can opt for a smaller rug placed partially under the bed for a layered and cozy feel.
    • Alongside the Bed: If placing a rug under the bed is not feasible, you can opt for smaller rugs on either side of the bed or a runner rug at the foot of the bed to add warmth and softness to the space.
  4. Hallways and Entryways:

    • In hallways and entryways, runner rugs can add visual interest and provide a soft surface underfoot. The rug should be proportional to the width and length of the space, with equal margins on either side.

When choosing the size of a rug, consider the overall scale of the room, the layout of furniture, and how you want the rug to complement the space. Ultimately, the goal is to create a balanced and harmonious look that enhances the room's functionality and aesthetic appeal.

GoodWeave - Ending illegal child labour in the rug making industry.

What is GoodWeave?

GoodWeave is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to ending child labor in the global supply chain. Founded in 1994 by Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, the organization focuses primarily on the rug and carpet industry, where child labor is prevalent. It works to eradicate child labor by providing educational opportunities, rehabilitation, and support to children in weaving communities, while also certifying rugs and carpets as child-labor-free.

The GoodWeave Label

The GoodWeave label is the best assurance no child, forced or bonded labor was used in the making of a certified product, and it also means your purchase supports programs that educate children and improve working conditions for adults in producer communities.

How does GoodWeave ensure child-labor-free rugs and carpets?

GoodWeave ensures child-labor-free rugs and carpets through a comprehensive certification process. This process involves inspections, audits, and monitoring of supply chains to verify compliance with GoodWeave's standards. Producers, importers, and retailers must adhere to these standards to obtain certification, which includes ensuring that no child labor is involved in any stage of production.

What are the benefits of buying GoodWeave certified rugs and carpets?

Purchasing GoodWeave certified rugs and carpets provides several benefits. Firstly, it guarantees that the product is free from child labor, promoting ethical and sustainable practices. Additionally, it supports GoodWeave's efforts to provide education and rehabilitation services to children in weaving communities. Certified products also meet high-quality standards, ensuring customer satisfaction.

How does GoodWeave support children in weaving communities?

GoodWeave supports children in weaving communities by providing access to education, rehabilitation services, and vocational training. The organization works closely with local partners to implement programs that address the root causes of child labor, such as poverty and lack of access to education. By investing in children's futures, GoodWeave aims to break the cycle of poverty and exploitation.

How can I find GoodWeave certified products?

GoodWeave certified products can be found by looking for the GoodWeave label on rugs and carpets in stores or online. Many retailers and manufacturers proudly display the GoodWeave label on certified products, making them easily identifiable to consumers.