knotting silk rug
Knotting Silk Rug
Knot and Cut the Yarn)
Turkish knots double knots
Turkish knot(double knot,symmetrical knot)
Persian knot,single knot,asymmetrical knot
Persian knot(single knot,asymmetrical knot)
genuine mulberry silk yarn
Genuine Silk Yarn
Draw Design
design chart for hnotting silk rug
Design Chart
silk worm
Silk Worm

Silk Carpet Knowledge
What is the silk carpet? The silk carpet means that the piles and warps are made of genuine natural silk. They are various in designs, luxurious in appearance, harmonious in colors matching, shining and smooth in surface, soft yet durable in texture, well proportioned in pattern, anti-worm-eaten not drop hair. Hand-knot silk carpets are of highly artistic value. They are practical for use and valuable for collection. To possess a high quality silk rug is not only a treasure for a lifetime but also an heirloom for next generation.
How to make the silk carpets?
It is very complicated to make silk rugs.1.Draw design and match colors. Draw design on a chart and match the different colors on it so that the weavers can follow to weave. This is a creative work. The artisans must have a blue print in their mind. Actually the finished carpet is the representation of the design. To some extent, this is a very important step because the good designs and harmonious colors matching directly relate to the value of the silk rug. 2. Dye silk. Traditionally dyers use natural pigments (indigo, saffron crocus, acorn cup, and larkspur stem...) to dye the silk into different colors. But now chemical dye is also used. There are always 10-20 different colored silk yarns used for one silk rug. 3. Hang the warps. Warps will be bound on the loom rack, which is almost like a standing frame consisting of 4 bars. The warps will be bound tightly and evenly between the top bar and the bottom one. Heddles will be bound between another horizontal bar and the warps so that they can separate the front warps and the back warps. After the foundation is woven by plain silk thread the carpet knotting can start. 4. Hand knot silk carpet. The silk yarn will be tied around the two adjoining warp yarns to create a knot. There are different types of knots such as real tied double knots (symmetrical knots and Turkish knots), real tied single knots (unsymmetrical knots or Persian knots) and untied hooked knots (They are unreal knots, which are poor workmanship but time saving and material saving.). The end of the silk yarn is cut off by knife to create the pile. When a raw of knots is finished the wefts are woven through compartment space between front and back warps. Weavers use iron comb to hit the piles so that they can fix together firmly. 5. Shear carpet, make tassels, and wash the finished carpet. After months' or even years' work the whole silk carpet is finished. It is cut down from the loom rack. The surface of the silk rug is sheared evenly. The ends of the warps are bound to make beautiful tassels. The whole rug is washed thoroughly for sale.
Hand knotting silk rug is a time consuming work and harmful for eyes. It took one weaver 3 months to knot a 2×3ft silk carpet with 470 real tied double knots per square inch quality (standard 260 lines double knots workmanship). But it took one experienced weaver almost one year to knot a 2×3ft silk carpet with 1100 real tied double knots per square inch quality (standard 400 lines double knots workmanship). So the high quality silk rugs are called "soft gold".

Knot density and line of hand-knotted silk rugs: 260lines: 22 knots per inch and 470knots per square inch; 300lines:25 knots per inch and 625knots per square inch; 400lines: 33 knots per inch and 1100 knots per square inch; 500lines: 41-42 knot per inch and 1730knots per square inch.
Normal sizes and shapes for area silk rugs: 1m=3.28ft, 1 square meter=10.76 square feet.
2x3ft=61x91cm, 3x5ft=91x152cm, 4x6ft=121x183cm, 5.5x8ft=168x244cm, 6x9ft=183x274cm, 6.56x9.84ft=200x300cm, 7x10ft=213x305cm, 8x8ft=244x244cm, 8x10ft=244x305cm, 8.2x11.48ft=250x350cm, 9x12ft=274x365cm, 10x14ft=305x427cm, 12x18ft=366x549cm, 2.5x8ft=76x244cm, 2.5x10ft=76x305cm, 3x12ft=91x365cm
Rectangular, square, runner, oval and round are normal shapes of silk carpets.

How to choose the silk rugs? Choose the right size: When choosing an area silk carpet you should realize the actual size of the silk rug is in approximate size that you want. Silk carpets are works of art and are not made to cover the entire floor, so you should leave 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 centimeters) of vacant space between the edge of carpet and its surrounding furniture or walls. Choose the right designs: 1. Allover: Carpets in this layout have no central design and the designs spread throughout the whole carpet separately or connected. There may be one same design or several designs appearing repeatedly throughout the whole carpet. 2. Medallion: In this layout, a large centerpiece is the main design called "Medallion". And this layout is the most popular one in handmade carpets. The shapes of medallions are usually circular, oval, octagonal, hexagonal and star-like. This kind of carpets is always symmetric in layout. 3. One-sided: For this layout, the designs are only properly viewed from one side. The designs on one-sided carpets are usually images of people, animals and sceneries. Since one-sided carpets should not be viewed upside-down they are often used as wall hangings. Choose the right colors: Silk carpets have many colors but the first impression of the color a carpet gives you is the contrast of various colors that creates the different designs. This is the same way in all other art fields. The colors of a carpet are mainly identified by the field (background) color and the border color. The field color is dominant and it usually covers the most space of the whole rug. The most commonly used background colors are red, blue, black, beige, white and yellow. Usually the silk rug will appear dark and light colors if you view from different angles. When choosing the silk carpet you should consider whether the field color matches your furniture and the wall.
What is the number of lines and knots count for hand-made silk carpets? The knot density and knot workmanship are of the most important factors to determine the value of the silk rug. The quality of silk, the harmony of colors, the balance of the pattern and regular shape are also important factors to determine the quality of a silk rug. As far as the knot density concerned, higher density of knots means more work and higher quality. High quality silk rugs usually have 400 real knots per square inch (KPI) or above. Above 600 KPI can be regarded as very high quality. Above 900 KPI is regarded as super fine quality. Above 1100KPI rugs are extremely fine and rare; but most of them are very small because they are too difficult to make. In china we also use the lines to mark the quality of hand-made rugs. Suppose standard 240lines rugs there are 20knots per inch horizontally and vertically. For standard 260lines rug, there are 22 knots per inch horizontally and vertically. For standard 300lines rug, there are 25 knots per inch horizontally and vertically. For standard 400lines rug, there are 33 knots per inch horizontally and vertically. For standard 500lines rug, there are 41-42 knots per inch horizontally and vertically. However some dishonest dealers always exaggerate the actual lines of the rugs.
What is the difference between the different knotting workmanship of silk carpets? There are different types of knot workmanship. Real double knots workmanship (symmetrical knots or Turkish knots) is the best and most difficult to make. This kind of knot workmanship makes the silk rug very solid; the piles and the warps are fixed tightly; dense piles always stand even baring heavy traffic for a long time; the piles do not drop off. Another real single knot workmanship (unsymmetrical knot or Persian knot) is also good. For this kind of silk rug the structure is a little bit soft. The poor workmanship is the hooked knot workmanship (unreal knot) because the piles are hooked not tied on two adjacent back warps to create the unreal knots. This poor workmanship can save the working time and material. The piles are not dense, which makes the designs obscure. It is easy to open the piles to see the inside warps. This kind of rug is not durable and solid. So the value of this kind silk rug is much less.
What is genuine silk, spun silk and artificial silk rugs? A lot of so called silk rugs are not real natural silk made. Real silk rug means the piles and warps are made of genuine natural silk. High quality real silk is directly reeled off from the best part of the cocoons. The fibers are natural, long, soft, durable, smooth and shining. If you see the piles you can find they are consist of each single silk filament. When touching, it feels warm. Real silk pile will not drop hair in use. Spun silk is also called silk but it is not in high quality because the yarn is spun from the broken cocoons and silk waste. It has short fibers and it is like the thin rope. Spun silk is treated and it is not very shining, smooth and durable. Artificial silk (rayon and mercerized cotton) is very cheap and in poor quality. The yarn is like the thin rope and the fiber is short, the color is dull. It feels cool to touch.
How to test real silk rugs? Rubbing the surface you could feel real silk is warm, the artificial silk rug stays cool to the touch. If you scratch the piles hardly genuine silk pile will not drop hair but artificial silk will drop hair. Burning the yarn is very effective and practical test. Clip off a small piece of the fringe and pull a knot out of the rug from the back and burn the yarn. Look at the ash and smell the smoke. If the material was rayon and mercerized cotton, the ash should be soft and chalky, and the smell should be like burning paper. If it is real silk the ash should be black and crispy, and the smell should be like burning hair because real silk contains rich protein like our hair. Chemical test is accurate. At room temperature, mix a solution of 16 g copper sulfate (CuSO4) in 150 cc of water, add 8-10 g glycerine, then add caustic soda (sodium hydroxide: NaOH) until a clear solution is obtained. This solution will dissolve a small sample of natural silk, but will leave cotton, rayon, and nylon unchanged.

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