Persian rug part 3: tying knots!

Yay! we’re finally there! A Persian rug consists of layers of knots, heavy weight weft and lightweight weft. Oh.. and cutting.. very important!

Let’s start! First thing you should know is this. Another difference between the Fars and Tabriz style is the following:

I hope you’ll excuse the crappy drawing, but I hope it conveys the difference between the knots. The left is the Tabriz style knot (for which you need a hook), and on the right you can see the Fars style knot. They are both fine, but the Fars style is harder to do for smaller projects, and therefore the finest of the Persian rugs are made using the Tabriz style (because of the hook). The double loop (on the left) also makes for a more square shaped (pixel like) knot.

Persian rug weaving part 2
Step 1. Grab the warp (the one that’s in the back) with your hook. (also: don’t hold the hook too tight, it needs to move around a lot)

Persian rug weaving part 2
Step 2: bring your yarn behind the warp and allow about 1.5 cm to stick out.

Persian rug weaving part 2
Step 3: with your left thumb, hold the part that was sticking out flat. Make sure that the tip is higher than the rest of the yarn (make a triangle).

Persian rug weaving part 2
Step 4: stick the hook through the triangle you just made, and grab the other warp (the one in front) and catch the tip of the yarn (the part you’re holding with your thumb).

Persian rug weaving part 2
Step 5. Slowly pull the yarn through.

Persian rug weaving part 2
Another picture just to make sure it’s clearly visible!

Persian rug weaving part 2
Step 5: pull on the ends, adjusting the length (you don’t want to make them too long, because you’d have to cut off more), and pull the knot downward.

Persian rug weaving part 2
Step 6: using the sharp knife part on your hook, cut the end.

congratulations! you’ve just tied your first knot! Now finish the first layer!

When you’ve finished the first layer the first thing you need to do is to make sure all of your knots are secure. You can do this by pulling (on both ends!!) with your hands. You just grab the ends (with both hands, thumb and index finger) and pull. When you’ve pulled on all the ends you need to beat them flat.

Remember that there are 50 layers in 7 cm, so make sure you don’t beat them too gently or to hard.

When we’re done beating we can pull the weft through and beat the layer some more.

Don’t worry about the wonkiness of your knots. As you can see the heavy weft flattens them nicely.

While you work on the knots you may notice that the warp is being pulled close together (because of the knots). You can see how the heavy weft pulls them apart again and opens up the space between the warp threads once more.

When you’re done with the weft and the beating it’s time to cut the ends. This is by far the hardest part of the entire process. It’s crucial that you don’t cut the fiber too short! It’s really not a big deal if you leave them too long, or if you don’t cut them perfectly even, there are ways (find your local Persian rug shop) to shear the top layer, resulting in a perfectly even rug. But if you cut your ends too short you won’t really be able to fix it.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and let me know if there are any questions ๐Ÿ™‚

Let me know if you’re in the Netherlands and you’d like to see the weaving/ knotting in live action ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy summer!

5 thoughts on “Persian rug part 3: tying knots!

  1. What do you mean by this statement: “Itโ€™s important to repeat this step at between 8-15 times for a sturdy layer”.
    My understanding is that every layer of knot is followed by a heavy weft and a light weft. What did you mean by 8-15 times?

  2. thanks for the comment. You are absolutely right, however for the FIRST layer you need to make sure that the bottom is secure. As you know every row is followed by a series of beating the knots, if you donโ€™t have a very secure underlayer, the bottom layer will not be able to hold and your knots will slip down. Youโ€™ll end up with a disformed rug.
    So the first time you do only a layer of heavy weft and light weft (no knots!). After this base layer you will start adding the knots. I hope this answers your question ๐Ÿ™‚

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