The hand-made Oriental rug is an ancient art form that bridges time and culture. Hand-knotted rugs can be found in Iran, India, China, Pakistan, Turkey, Nepal, Afghanistan, Romania, Russia, and Armenia. From the 2,500 year old Pazyryk rug that was discovered frozen in a Siberian burial site, to contemporary Gabbehs, the Oriental rug represents centuries of exquisite artistry and meticulous craftsmanship. Each contains qualities and peculiarities that epitomize make up the value and appeal of each rug.
Every part of the rug making process is considered an art from the care of the sheep to the final stage of washing and finishing the carpet. First, the finest wool is sheared from the sheep, it is then washed to free it of excess lanolin, and carded, to straighten the wool before it is spun. Next the wool is dyed by a dye-master up to twenty times in boiling vats and then hung to dry. A superior quality handmade rug cannot be made in a sweatshop as the quality can only come from a master craftsman who has a vast depth of weaving knowledge. Some master weavers use a rug script which dictates different traditional rug designs, but many weavers weave from the collective memory of their ancestors.
When beginning a new rug the weaver begins again the process of re-recording the history, using new thoughts and innovations in the thousands of knots that make up their art. One rug will take the weaver months, if not years to complete, returning day after day to their wooden loom.