The different types of knots can be used to place the rug’s geographic origin as well as to determine the appearance of the pile, or lack thereof. It is important to remember that not all rugs have piles; those that do not are called flat weaves.
The Turkish, or Ghiordes knot is characteristic of the pieces woven by the Turkish and Kurdish tribes of Turkey, Iran and the Caucuses. The Turkish knot is sturdier than the Persian, or Senneh knot, but produces a less fine weave.
The Jufti knot or “false” knot can be either Persian or Turkish in style and makes the weaving process faster. Even though this technique uses half the material and only takes half as much time, it will probably last only half as long!
The Tibetan Knot is a distinctive rug–weaving technique. A rod, which establishes the length of the pile, is put in front of the warp. A continuous yarn is looped around two warps and then once around the rod. When a row of loops is finished, the weaver cuts the loops, thereby freeing the rod and creating the pile.
Knot density is the measure of knots per unit area of a rug. Knots are counted vertically and horizontally within the given area along the back of the rug. Knot density is affected by many factors: the size of warp, weft and pile threads, the presence or absence of warp depression, and how tightly the weaver packs down each row of knots. Knot density is important because it can determine the quality of the rug. The more knots per unit the rug contains, the higher the quality.
Grading Knot Counts:
- Course: Up to 25 knots per square inch
- Medium: 40 to 90 knots per square inch
- Fine: 90 to 166 knots per square inch
- Very Fine: Over 167 knots per square inch