Last month we hosted a presentation from rugmaker Tamarian on how rugs are made and how they can be customized in Nepal.
I liked it so much that I'm summarizing the manufacturing portion this month in our newsletter. Special thanks to Chris Saliga and Geoff Duckworth for their presentation and making the images available to us!
A Multi-Millenial Tradition
The Nepalese have raised sheep for thousands of years. The wool they produce is prized throughout the world for sheen from high lanolin content and its long fibers. And they have made rugs from this wool.
It's no wonder. These sheep have had to evolve to survive in one of the world's harshest environments.
The wool embodies an awesome landscape.
Newly sheared wool comes in two shades, dark and light. It must be divided by hand, just like your laundry.
The wool is then washed by hand in pure glacier water from the Bishnumati River.
The clean wool is then carded, a process of lengthening the fibers and cleaning debre. Then it's hand spun into yarn. In this picture the women in the front row are carding and those in the back are spinning.
The spinners organize the yarn into skeins to prepare them for dying.
Color possibilities are virtually limitless. The Tamarian pallette has over 1200 colors.
The dyers wrap the yarn around large wheel structures and hand turn the wheels to control the exposure to the dye solutions.
The weavers are next to handle the wool. Here they work at a loom. The rug is in the lower part of the picture. The upper part is called a graph. It is a map of the rug's pattern with yarn specification. The pile of your rug is comprised of thousands of knots that the weavers tie one at a time.
When the rug is completed, skilled finishers level the pile and clip away stray strands of yarn.
Then the rug is thoroughly washed by hand. Washing enhances the natural luster of the wool's lanolin and makes the pile softer.
The rugs dry in the Nepal sun.
A New Tradition
We aim to continue with presentations that are useful to our designer community. From nearly four decades of experience selling rugs, we are confident that people are interested in the rug story beyond size and color.
What more about rugs would you like to know?
Or wood flooring?
Please let us know. We're always looking for ideas.