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Zaki Oriental Rugs

Rug Making

Rug Making Process

The art of rug weaving originated more than 3000 years ago. An old Pazyryk rug was excavated in 1949, which dates back to 500 B.C. It is the oldest specimen found of the ancient weavings. Rugs were initially woven as articles of necessity to cover the floors of nomadic tribesmen, providing them protection from the cold and damp. The natural progression of the skill and craft responsible for the creation of these works of art has been passed down from generation to generation over centuries. As international trade developed, the variety of patterns and designs grew. These centuries’ old traditions have been kept alive and in recent years, handmade rugs sector has demonstrated significant improvements considering the needs in different parts of the world. Pakistan is one of the key countries for production of handmade rugs. The process of the production of hand-knotted rugs can be described as under:


Sheep Farming / Procurement of the Wool:

Sheep Farming - Procurement of the Wool

The process of rug making starts from sheep farming which is the source of natural wool.

After sheering the sheep, the wool is supplied to the factories for spinning or is utilized in villages where it is scoured and spun.

Wool Spinning:


Spinning is the process of transforming the wool by twisting the fibers together to form yarn, and removing the dead yarn to create a longer fiber. Traditionally, fibers were spun by hand using simple tools such as the spindle or using a spinning wheel also known as Charkha.

Spinning the wool by hand is a noble and long process that makes a big difference in the final feel and touch of the hand-knotted rug. Machine-spun wool is an alternative method in spinning the wool as for this purpose many factories have been set-up where the process from scouring, combing and spinning is being done for creating yarn according to the requirement of the different qualities of the rugs.


Designing Designing Designing

In different parts of the world, craftsmen are creating designs for rugs representing their regions and cultures such as Tribals, Orientals, Classics, Contemporary and Modern. To create any design the designer first sketches a design onto a graph paper with a pencil.

Once graphed the artist then decides on color, carefully painting the design with water colors. Each square on the graph represents one knot. The designs are then written into a special "rug language". Each color has a symbol with the number of knots of the colors written above or below. Each row of knots is detailed on paper.

Wool Dyeing:

Wool Dyeing Wool Dyeing

Once the rug design has been completed, yarn has to be dyed according to the design requirements. In ancient times, wool was dyed only with natural or vegetable dyes. Now this process is not only used in tribes and villages but is also adopted by various companies for producing rugs as they were produced in days past which gives a completely natural and original color effect.

Another way of wool dyeing has also been established for a long time in rug producing, using chemical and synthetic dyestuff. There are various qualities where these kinds of dyes are required for production. 


Weaving  Weaving

Weaving of rugs has been done generally in the weavers’ house. This is a cottage industry and now mostly weavers are women. According to the size of a rug, the loom is installed. Then weaver sets up the cotton or silk warp (which constitutes the foundation of the rug) on the loom. There are several kind of knots used.

The most desirable are Turkish Knot (Gheordes Knot) and Persian Knot (Senneh Knot) The time of completion of a rug depends on how many knots per square inch and size of the rug. It can vary from a few months to several years or more.


Washing Washing

After completion of weaving the rug it is brought back to the premises where washing and cleaning process starts. Washing is one of the most important steps as it not only cleans the rug but also softens and brings shine.

Finally, the rug needs to be dried properly under the sun before clipping and sheering of the pile.

Clipping/ Sheering:

Clipping - Sheering

Clipping - SheeringSheering is another important step to move the rug towards final stage. Traditionally sheering has been done with large scissors but now a days the artisans are using straight platform (tables) for trimming pile with moving blades in hand.

Height of the pile can be adjusted according to markets demand and customer’s desire. The fringe knots are tied to protect the rug from unraveling by securing the warp and weft threads. All of our rugs are physically inspected to ensure they meet the highest standards of craftsmanship.