Weaving process for Hand Knotted Carpet

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Drafting a graph

After choosing a design, colour and size of the carpet, a template will be made into a graph by a graphic artist for the weavers to see the design and colour accurately.

Preparing the wool:

The wool is sheared from highland sheep, cleaned, combed and sorted by hand.

Dying and winding:

Dyeing with vegetable dye take place in two step. First, in a process called mordanting. Yearn is dip into a hot solution of alum or iron, which prepare the wool fibers to bond permanently with dye. Then the yearn is placed in vats of hot dye where it is cooked for shorter or longer of time and at higher or lower temperature, depending on the dye or shade desired.

For synthetic dye the process is shorter.  Yearn is immersed in a dye bath where it remain for a period of ranging for a few hours to few days according to the result required.

The dyed wool comes back on large racks from which it must be wound into balls of yarn.  This task takes aroun 3 to 4 hours of work per ball.  The wound balls of wool is then stored until need for use.

Weaving:

The way weaving is done is distinct by virtue of wrapping a continuous length of wool over a metal rod laid across each row of pile on the loom.  Once the rod is wrapped, the wool is cut into two rows of pile.  Depending on the size of the carpet, will determine the amount of weavers needed to make the carpet.  Anywhere from 1 to 5 weavers at a time can work on one carpet.  The weavers sit side by side, talking, laughing and even singing while working.

Trimming:

When the weaving is complete, an inspection is done to ensure that the carpet has no weaving defect.

Once completed, the carpet is remove from the loom and put on a flat surface. Then it is trimmed by scissors. Some carpet are carved out to show the design and pattern.

Washing and drying:

The trimmed carpet is washed with fresh water and chemicals.  The main purpose of washing is to clean and imporove the natural colour of the wool and this is done by removing dirt en ecess dye.  The carpet is then sundried for up to 4 or 5 days.

Stretching:

During the washing process, a carpet may be deformed from the original shape.  To correct this the carpet is stretched across all the sides and left for hours to reshape.  Stretching is only done on carpets that was deformed during washing.

Finishing:

The dried and or stretched carpets are checked may be given a finishing touch by re-trimming if necessary. Only then the carpets can be selected for export.