During a recent visit to Armenia I went to a carpet workshop on the outskirts of Yerevan. The carpets are all hand-woven and hand-knotted. I was curious to see how they are made. Here are some of the pictures I took...
The warp is thick cotton yarn. The weft is dyed wool. You can see bunches of dyed weft hanging above the weavers. At eye level the weavers have a printout of the design they are creating.
The difference between a Persian and an Armenian rug is the way in which the weft is 'knotted' to the warp. In Armenian carpet weaving they use a Geordez or double-knot, whereas in Persian carpets it is a Sehna or single-knot. Either way, unlike in fabric weaving the weft is not one continuous thread. After each knot they cut the weft with the hook/knife. In the bottom right image you can see a fresh line of knotted weft.
|In between the lines of knotted weft they weave a single thread of cotton to strengthen the structure of the carpet.
After they have completed a line of weft they make use of kind of steel comb to hammer it all down, so it sits tightly on top of the previous line.
It's then time to cut off the excess weft and reveal a new line of 'knots'.
Once the carpet has been fully woven and knotted, they use a scraper to remove any lint.
|To ensure a smooth and even finish they run a couple of electric razors over it.