THE WEAVE AND THE KNOT : BROTHER AND SISTER
Le matériel utilisé - laine, coton ou soie - va déterminer la qualité de la trame d'un tapis.
Wool is the most frequently used fabric in handmade carpets as it is soft, durable, easy to work with and not too expensive. Environmental conditions, the animal's breed, its age and diet are all decisive factors in the quality of the wool. Following the shearing, the wool is cleaned, straightened and then twisted into the thread. The woollen thread is then combined into a number of folds. One, two, three or four folds are used to make a carpet. The fold of a thread determines the number of string threads as well as the number of knots required to make a deep velvet. Seeds, earth, flowers and tree bark will then be used to create colours. One the wool has been dipped in the dye for a while, it is dried in the sun. This ensures that the shades match. The wool is now ready to be woven.
This fibre is expensive and therefore les frequently used in handmade carpets. The silk used comes from the cocoon of the silk worm. The best silk in Iran comes from the southern banks of the Caspian Sea. This silk is good and strong. Silk can be used on its own or blended with wool. Since they are so refined, pure-silk carpets are rare and we are proud to say that we specialise in them and have one of the widest selections in the world! Silk is a very resistant fabric and while it is conceivable to use a pure-silk carpet for normal use, we do not recommend that pure-silk carpets be used in areas of frequent passage.
Cotton is mainly used to make the base of a carpet. Some weavers also use cotton to create white details in the carpet for contrast. The velvet of woven carpets is created using knots. The string, generally made out of cotton is tied between the horizontal beams at a consistent tension. The weaver sits before the loom with a detailed illustration and begins to weave. The weaver fastens a knot around two adjacent strings and slides the knot down to the base. The thread is then cut with a knife. The length of the thread determines the thickness of the carpet. Once the a row is finished, the bottom is beaten down with a comb to set the knots.