Green Front’s Ashley Cooper recently traveled all over India on the latest rug buying trip to select an extraordinary assortment of oriental rugs and accent carpets from 30 different vendors. As always, Green Front negotiated great deals on the merchandise to bring you spectacular hand-knotted rugs at truly affordable prices. Thousands of rugs were ordered; preview rugs here:
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The Art of Rug Making
As Ashley visited each vendor, she was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the rug making process. With approximately 32-34 steps from start to finish, the amount of pain-staking labor that goes into producing a hand-knotted rug is unfathomable. Typically these tasks are delegated to four or five people over five months (on average) for a basic 9 x 12 oriental rug, equating to almost 2 years worth of labor!
Preparing the Materials
Before the weaving can even begin, many hours of preparation are involved in designing the rug and preparing the materials. The majority of rugs we purchase are made of wool that is handspun, washed, dried and finally dyed a wide palette of colors.
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Next is the painstaking task of weaving the rug. An average 9 x 12 rug can be on the loom for four to five months before it moves to the final steps of washing and finishing. Many of the weavers are fourth and fifth generation artisans who learned the meticulous art of creating beautiful hand-knotted rugs from their fathers and grandfathers.
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After the rug is removed from the loom, it is far from finished. An oriental rug is a diamond in the rough at this stage. In order for its true beauty to be revealed, the rug’s pile must be sheared down to a lower height, and it must undergo specialized washes. Only after the application of these steps is the beautiful design fully apparent and the luster of the wool revealed . Even after this, there is still additional work to be done. The rug still needs to be blocked, imperfections must be corrected, and the final binding is added to the sides of the rug.
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Washing & Drying
During the oriental rug making process, most rugs undergo 3-5 cycles of washing and drying. Careful attention must be given to these very important steps. A proper wash is critical in achieving the desired finished product.
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