From stunning Nepal home of Mt. Everest, we bring Himalayan handknot custom area rugs. These rugs are true works of art. All are hand woven from pot dyed, hand carded, hand spun, hand washed Himalayan wool and mulberry silk.
Hand knotting is an extremely slow and precise method of rug making. Our artisans in Nepal are generational custodians of this wonderful ancient technique. Each individual tuft is hand guided to its final place within the design and each rug possesses a human touch. These rugs are crafted at the rate of 1 1/2” per day, and they are well worth the wait. We offer two yarns (Himalayan wool and silk) along with five finishes in this enduring method. As with the other two methods, any Davis design in the Davis and Davis book can be used here.
Layer upon layer of skill creates a quality that begins at the simplest level. The artisan begins, by hand, building excellence into the most basic element- the fleece. The best wool is, of course, the most workable. Hand carding involves discarding the slubs and burs, then aligning the long fibers taken from Himalayan highland sheep. The resultant long staple yarn is among the worlds strongest, yet is soft and pliable contributing to each rugs natural glowing charm.
One is reminded of a chorus of harpists each with a different score coming together in a bracing musical event. They finger and pluck the taught vertical strings of the weft with soft notes woven into the fabric of the finale. And like the ephemeral emotion felt at a moving concert, each is unique. One off. Never another quite the same. These are art pieces coming together oh so slowly and quietly in a window lit room. How it all happens you won’t believe.
A simple copper dye pot, which is embedded in mortar is wood fired, observing a thousand year old process. As the yarn skein is hand dipped, the tightest areas within the yarn will seek less dye than the loose areas engendering its subtle and desirable horizontal streaking called “abrash”. The skein is steeped and turned in the carefully formulated Tibetan color for hours, then air dried.
HAND SPINNING AND “ABRASH”
After careful carding, the fiber is hand spun, which benignly yields a slight unevenness to its twist. When the yarn is knotted to the weft string this uneveness becomes a gorgeous thrown back look of nature known as “abrash”.
Designs are painstakingly transferred to a grid on paper. Each small hand colored square represents each knot on the back, and hence each colored yarn on the surface of the final rug.
Many of the artisans are now third and fourth generation from southern Tibet, where an entire population of rugmakers was displaced over sixty years ago. Young adult grandchildren now inhabit Nepal and carry with them traditions that were central to their commercial existence just decades ago in the highlands of their ancient country.
POUNDING THE YARN
Once the knots are placed correctly the artisan commits his design by tightening the tufts. A simple flat iron is used to literally beat the rows down the tough cotton warp strings.It is said that one can “find the early hours of the rug” by feel, as the tufts are slightly tighter and denser than in the latter part of the day.
Among the final steps in the process is the careful separation of the colors in which the artisan will very slightly trim away the offending yarns to clean the design.
THE TIBETAN KNOT
Somewhat larger and courser than its cousin the Persian knot, the double knot of Tibet accords a primitive, uncluttered, comforting sense of history. These Goodweave protected artisans will sit shoulder to shoulder each responsible for about a 30” path down the length of the rug.
Each finished rug is flooded and washed in snow runoff from the high Himalayas. A mountain stream is diverted to a large flat rivulet of the purest spring water to assure the finished piece is as pristine as it can be.
Large blades akin to an enormous pair of scissors the shearing tool planes the surface of the soft rug until it is smooth. One finds it hard to grasp the sense of subtly with which the groomer must work..
Like a lyrical melody our Tibetan artistry will embrace your home, each rug as lovely as the first song of Spring.