What makes hand-knotted carpets special is that every single one is simply unique. Every carpet differs through the choice and arrangement of the pattern, its color and its respective shape. Fine quality carpets are either knotted or tufted. The most common knots originally hail from Turkey, such as the rough symmetrical knots known as Ghiordes knots, while finer asymmetrical knots are traditionally found in Persian, Indian and Chinese carpets.
Handmade carpets are traditionally produced by skilled weavers who manage up to 12,000 individual knots per day. For this, all they use are a hook knife, scissors and a comb. With these tools, they press the rows of knots and weft threads tightly together. The tightness of the knots is the most important feature that determines the lifespan, the value and particularly the quality of the carpet. A further important aspect is the coloration of the carpet, which in truly top quality specimens is carried out with purely natural dyes. For this, one commonly uses suds created from crushed walnut or pomegranate husks and employs the various color gradients within one color, the so-called abrash.
A hand-knotted carpet takes its name from its original point of manufacture. The design in terms of shape and color is determined by an oftentimes centuries old tradition. Among the various styles, which include Persian, Afghan, Pakistani, Baluch, Turkmenian, Caucasian, Indian, Tibetan, Turkish or Chinese, it is the Persian carpets that play a dominant role. Among experts, they are considered to be the apex of carpet knotting, whose manufacture relies on the experience of countless generations.
Afghan carpets also enjoy an excellent reputation. The Khal-Mohammadi and Afghan-Aqche carpets from the North of the country are usually dark red in color, feature stars and stylized flowers and are fashioned from wool, goat hair or horse hair. Anatolian carpets from the Konja stronghold lack nothing of their Persian counterparts. They are knotted with Turkish knots and consist of silk, wool or cotton. Chinese and Tibetan carpets can also draw on extensive traditions. They often feature motifs originating from Buddhism and Taoism. The carpets are often fashioned from the finest silk and were created in the Chinese regions of Ningxia, Tianjin or Paotow or in the Tibetan city of Lhasa.