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Oriental Rug Knot Types

Ghiordes

  Ghiordes Knots
  Ghiordes Knots (click to enlarge)
The Ghiordes knot is also referred to as the single knot, symmetrical knot, and Turkish knot. With the symmetrical knot, the yarn is passed between two adjacent warps, brought back under one, wrapped around both forming a collar, then pulled through the center so that both ends emerge from between the same warps.

The illustration on the right depicts the formation of the symmetrical knot.

Senneh

Senneh Knots  
Senneh Knots (click to enlarge)  
The Senneh knot is also referred to as the double knot, asymmetrical knot, and Persian knot. The Senneh knot is wrapped around one warp only, then the yarn is passed open behind the adjacent warp so that the two ends are divided by a single warp. It may be open on the left or the right. It is for this reason sometimes referred to as the asymmetrical knot.

The illustration on the left depicts the formation of the Senneh knot.

Jufti

The Jufti knot, frequently encountered in Khorassan, is tied around four warp strands instead of two. Using the Jufti knot vastly reduces the time it takes to weave a rug, but the type of knot is inferior, a shortcut that is detrimental to the strength, durability, and fineness of the weave.

  Jufti Knots
  Jufti Knots (click to enlarge)
The illustration on the right depicts the formation of the Jufti Knot.

Kilim/Flat-weave

The term flatweave in the context of handmade rugs refers to a weft-faced textile, a tapestry woven fabric.

In a hand-knotted rug, the pile is formed by knots tied onto the warps in between rows of wefts. The wefts are then beaten down to secure the knots in between each row of wefts.

In a flatweave rug, however, the wefts themselves primarily form the face and pattern of the rug. Numerous wefts are passed inside and over the warps to form the foundation of the rug - they are "wrapped" around the warps.

Although the term Kilim or Kelim is often used to describe all flatweave rugs, there are two main types of flatweave rugs: Kilim and Soumak.

Kilim weaves do not use any supplementary or "ground" wefts (eg. standard structural wefts, as used in hand-knotted rugs, that do not affect the pattern/color of a rug). The wefts used entirely form the pattern and colors of the rug. The wefts are woven under and over each warp and are discontinuous and return as the design/color changes. A slit is produced in the portion of a weft adjacent to where design/color change is intended.

With Soumak rugs, the wefts are passed over two warps and back under one. Soumak rugs also do tend to use ground wefts, though these are also not generally visible.

Knot Types And Regions

Oriental rugs using the Senneh and Ghiordes knot are widely employed in Pakistan, India, Iran, China, Central Asia, and Afghanistan. Generally, rugs with curvilinear patterns tend to use the senneh knot, while rugs employing the Ghiordes knot tend to have geometric patterns. Caucasian and Anatolian weaving groups in particular are known for using rugs employing the Ghiordes knot.

The rugs on our website employ either the Ghiordes or Senneh knot.

Identifying the type of knot

A fair indication of which type of knot has been employed in a rug can be obtained by examining the back of the rug. If only one loop or bump is visible across the warp where the knot has been tied, then the Senneh knot has probably been employed. If two bumps are visible, then the Ghiordes knot has probably been employed (see Oriental Rug Knot Counting for details and illustrations).

The easiest way to determine if a rug employs the Jufti knot is to compare the horizontal knot count to the number of warps. If there are more than twice as many warps as there are knots, then the Jufti knot has most likely been used.

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