As manufacturers of largely hand knotted rugs, a few pointers for you to note is that our rugs are arranged over months, even years. Cocoon fine rugs are intricate textile products made from a range of knotting techniques, targeted to the part of society that prizes human artistry.
The knot is the basic unit of the whole. Essentially it is the knot where one can begin to understand these arcane masterpieces. Our finest rugs hold as many as 100,00,000 knots.
Answering your most basic questions:
‘WHAT EXACTLY IS A KNOT?’
In physical terms it is a small thread element extended east to west across the loom, usually over 2 warp threads. This not element is looped over these 2 warp threads in certain historio-geographical configuration- predominantly Turkish or Persian to strengthen the rug against unravelling and to give rise to the pile.
Each end of the thread constitutes the pile and it is the pile and its intricacies that is visible to all its admirers. This is the plush side of the rug, that people place their feet for homely comfort.
The look and feel of the pile is directly a result of the yarn, the height of the pile, and of course, the knot count.
the main body of each hand-knotted rug is composed of 3 elements: the warp, the weft, and the knots. As we mentioned above, there are two predominant systems of knots—the Turkish or ‘Ghiordes’ knot and the Persian or ‘Senneh’ knot.
Turkish knot is symmetrical, having 2 ends of its thread facing upwards in the form of the pile. This means that, when observing the pile, a person will be able to recognize 2 nodes for each knot. To make an accurate knot count, a person will have to divide the number of nodes he sees by 2.
In the case of the asymmetrical Persian knot system, a person may not be able to see the unlooped node, and this will entail he has to count each node he sees as a knot in itself.
‘WHAT IS KNOT COUNT?’
Knot count is simply the number of knots per unit area. It is also known as knot density. The most common units of knot count as Knots Per Square Inch (KPSI) and Knots Per Square Metre (KPSM). Coarse rugs generally possess 125,000 KPSM, medium-fine rugs upto 300,000 KPSM, and fine rugs anything above that.
In certain parts of India, there is a knot counting system comprising two numbers: bis and bihar. Bis is the number of knots across 2.29cm horizontally, while biharis the number of knots across 11.43cm vertically. To convert that into KPSI, multiply the two numbers and then divide them by 4.05.
COMMON THUMB RULES OF KNOT COUNTS
A few fundamental concepts while trying to figure out how hand-knotted rugs are differentiated:
- Low knot density entails higher pile: A higher, thicker pile can be created for rugs with a low knot density. Given that there will be more space to work with, the ends of the knot can extend higher to form a plusher, softer pile for more comfort.
- High knot density entails lower pile: On the other hand, a rug of high knot density will require a lower, thinner pile. Due to there being limited space to work with all the closely spaced threads, the pile will look blurry and scattered if kept long. Hence, knotters shave off the threads to create a lower pile.
- High knot density allows more intricate, curvilinear designs: A high knot density also entails there will be more flexibility in fine tuning the design. The greater density of the knots is much like a high resolution image and its closely spaced pixels. It allows the knotters to curve their lines more realistically.
- Low knot density entails a more spread out, orthogonal design: A low knot density, having bigger and/or wider threads, does not allow for as much detailing as the former. Yet, in no way does this take from its value, for if the yarn is of high quality, and the design of a sufficiently intricate nature, the art is undeniably palpable.
In practical terms, knot count is only a differentiating cost factor if two rugs are made of the same yarn and design. The denser rug, then, would naturally cost more. However, a high knot count on a rug of inferior yarn will not necessitate a higher cost than a rug with a lower knot count, but expensive, luxurious yarn.