How Oriental Rugs are Made

The following is a very basic description of how Oriental rugs are made.

Oriental rugs are made using a variety of weaving and knotting techniques. True Oriental rugs are hand-knotted in the traditional rug weaving countries ranging from Romania, through Turkey, Armenia, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkestan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, China, and Mongolia. Our weavers use a Persian or Senneh knot for strength and clarity in the curvilinear designs.

Atiyeh's rugs are hand-woven at our Chinese weaving centers in Hebei and Shandong Provinces.

Tribal rugs usually do not require a pre-drawn design, but complicated workshop rugs are designed prior to weaving. Because our designs are very detailed, each rug has its own diagram, which we refer to as the cartoon. Our design team hand-draws every cartoon creating a virtual blueprint of each rug.

Sheep's wool is the most commonly used fiber for Oriental rugs. Atiyeh International specifies long-staple wool from Qinghai Province to be blended with New Zealand wool. Qinghai is the high-elevation province north of Tibet. Raw unprocessed wool is separated for the long white fibers, then washed and carded before spinning and plying. Tribal or village weavers do this by hand, we used modern machines to create strong and uniform yarns.

The yarn is then dyed in a variety of colors using either vegetal material such as insects and roots or modern chemicals. Atiyeh International's weaving centers use standard chemical dyes in an enclosed retort so colors are always even and color-fast.

The basic foundation of all Oriental rugs is the warp which can be cotton or wool. We use cotton warp to maintain uniform tension on the loom keeping our rugs straight when they are completed. Warps run the entire length of the rug and make up the fringe or selvage at the ends.

The weavers tie a row of knots onto the warp and then insert a thin weft followed by a thick weft cross thread. The weavers pound down the wefts with a steel comb locking the knots in place. Then another row of knots is tied.

More on how oriental rugs are made.