Weaving carpets require definite skills and a certain level of expertise on the part of the weaver. There have been different types of weaving techniques that can be used to produce carpets with a variety of effects and designs on them. Every act of weaving involves choosing a particular fiber, deciding on colors, imagining an abstract or design, a weaving technique and finally a finishing process where the carpet finally turns into a refined piece of craft and comfort.
There are different types of carpet weaving techniques that weavers employ to produce rugs with different fibers, colors, and textures leading to the different form of carpet constructions and then employ the carpet finishing processes.
The main types of carpet weaving techniques are as follows.
1. Hand-knotted carpets
Hand-knotted carpets are produced by one of the most customary and fascinating techniques of weaving Indian carpets. This style of weaving was primarily seen in oriental countries and was later imitated by the Europeans. Hand-knotted Indian carpets are made on specially designed looms in a carpet factory. In this technique, once a particular design for the rug is decided, the rug is placed on the loom. Wraps are then made vertically on the loom. The weavers make knots on the warps and then cuts it before moving on to subsequent knot. The weaver then arranges horizontal rows of wefts across the warps. This creates a pile effect. After weaving all the knots the weaver inserts the wefts which give suitable thickness to the rug. These wefts are made of silk or wool or cotton. The weaver starts creating knots. He takes warps in the same row and ties a knot around them. More the knots more sophisticated the design.
Each rug later goes through the process of carpet finishing process (like washing, leveling, adding luster) depending upon specific customers requirement. They are produced using deluxe materials like wool and silk. Producing Hand-knotted rugs is time-consuming but they become crafts of admiration, items of possessions by people who value craftsmanship. They are priceless collectibles. Even hand-knotted rugs are classified into many categories like weaving rugs with Turkish knots involving symmetrical weaving of knots, Persian knots involve asymmetrical weaving of knots, Jufti knots are a combination of Turkish and Persian style and Spanish knot technique involves solo wrap symmetrical weaving.
2. Hand tufted carpets
This weaving technique is a little less cumbersome than the hand-knotted weaving technique. This weaving technique involves a tufting gun with needles on its front. This tool facilitates and speeds up the weaving process. Unlike hand knotted technique, this technique saves on time and money. It is cost and time effective. As compared to the hand-knotted technique, carpets are produced in a much lesser time through hand tufting process. This technique involves medium – lower quality materials and also creates precise detailing of the design patterns of the rugs. The gun used in tufting leads to faster production.
3. Handloom / Loom knotted weaving
As the name suggests, this technique uses a device called Loom, to weave cloth and tapestry. Loom grips the wrap threads enabling the interweaving of the threads. This uses medium or low ranged fibers like jacquard.
4. Flat weave/pile Kilims/hand woven
This is the flat weaving technique. Kilims are the flat woven rugs and pile Kilims are with a certain height. This weaving produces lower range of indoor flat weaves. For instance, Pile Kilims or Jute durries which are used in places which are prone to tripping. They are made on jacquard and are ready in couple of days.
5. Power Loomed Carpets
Unlike the so-called oriental handmade rugs, advent of modern technology resulted in rugs made from power loom in carpet factories (in contrast to hand loom – made from hand) which is electrically automated and is controlled by the computer. Computers have revolutionized the carpet making today with the help of C.A.D (Computer-aided designing) and computerized tufting machines creating rugs with precise and complex patterns. Power Loomed woven rugs are made very quickly with mostly synthetic fibers like nylon, art silk or polypropylene. These have no great appreciation value as they are products of merely an automatic Power Loomed but carved a size for themselves in the carpet weaving technique.
Other than these, there are many other carpet weaving technique styles like block patterns, sot weavings, simple twills, many forms of broken weaves, brocades, and honeycomb and all these can be done both by hand and Power Loomed. The only difference remains that hand-knotted is pieces of great value, appreciation, and possession. Their unevenness, imperfection, and roughness is class apart and reflects the true craftsmanship whereas the Power Loomed made rugs are perfect and uniform creations of the Power Loom with no craftsmanship and very less appreciation value.