Character in texture is one of the many great attractions of a hand knotted rug. The traditional handmade processes gives each rug an imperfect surface, and a sense of charm that is absent in the uniformity of modern rug methods. This character is present in even simple designs without any additional carving to their pile. During the creation of a hand knotted rug, beautiful textural effect is formed instantaneously, just by using the yarn of hand spun and hand carded wool, which has a slightly irregular thickness.
However, with many of our luxury rugs at Bazaar Velvet, we go a stage further, and incorporate various finishes which add yet another dimension to the rugs texture. Over the years, we have experimented with many different tactile effects to create the perfect textured rugs.
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Cut and Loop Textured Rugs
Two prime examples of the innovative use of texture in rugs are our stunning ‘Cracked’ and ‘Zeus’ designs. Both of these designs feature a high proportion of silk created in a regular ‘cut pile’. This means when the rug is knotted, the loops that are formed are then cut, giving a pile that stands upright. However these designs also feature ‘loop pile’ created in Himalayan Wool. This is when the yarn is knotted around a metal rod and the loop is left intact- giving a ribbed effect.
This technique can be used in several different ways. For example, in our cracked design, we have used loop pile to define the edges of the silk shapes, giving a sunken effect that adds drama to the design. On our ‘Zues’ rug, we have taken a different approach, ignoring the design motif and instead alternating rows of cut silk and looped wool. This breaks up the otherwise rigid geometric design, giving an already highly textured rug an appealing distressed appearance.
Carved Edge Rugs
This technique involves using a cutting tool to carve a narrow channel in the pile of a rug. It is often used on the border of two colours in a design to define the separate areas. It’s a great alternative to high and low pile and is a subtle way to add texture to a luxury rug. This technique is particularly effective in geometric designs where there is a uniform pile height and works well in both wool only and wool and silk rugs. Our new range of boldly coloured rugs ‘Nolita’ ‘Soho’ ‘Union’ and ‘Tribeca’, are all created from Himalayan Wool in a low knot count, but feature hand carving to add a luxurious finish.
Mixed Material Rugs
At Bazaar Velvet, the majority of our rugs feature a combination of both wool and silk. This is because the properties of these two materials provide a great opportunity to create contrast between different areas of the design. Silk is one of the most luxurious materials known to man, with a sumptuous softness and enchanting reflective properties.
Especially when used high proportions, the effect of this material in a rug can be quite dramatic. This is partly due to the fact every hand knotted rug has a pile direction. This means when the rug is viewed from one end, the silk is in shadow creating a darker effect, whereas when viewed from the other end the light shines off the surface of the silk giving an opulent glow. We find this is the perfect combination for our luxury designer rugs.
Our most common technique is to create a design with a background of Himalayan Wool and a foreground in Chinese Silk. The effect of the mat and the sheen adjacent to one another highlights the motif, and the constantly evolving colours of the silk adds an extra dimension to the design. We feel the combination of these two materials gives you full appreciation of the beauty of the silk, perhaps even more so than in a rug made completely from this one type of yarn. There are also benefits in more practical terms, as Himalayan Wool is the harder wearing of the two materials and helps to support the more delicate strands of silk.
High and Low Pile Textured Rugs
There is a growing trend for highly textured rugs featuring varying pile heights, with intricate motifs raised from the surface of the rug. Rug manufacturers use this technique to add definition to a design or to emphasise certain patterns or materials. However, some rug designers including our partner Thibault Van Renne, are taking this to the extreme. Although Thibault’s rugs are already very complex with numerous blended colours, he has used texture to add yet another level of sophistication. Many of his designs feature several layers of subtle pattern, blending designs of yesterday and today to magical effect.
The Hand Carving Process
Texture is added to the rug once it has been is dismantled from the loom, and is part of what we call the ‘finishing process’. This can take half a dozen people around 30 days to complete. Generally artisans use the separation of wool and silk as a guide for trimming the rug. The silk is carefully carved around by hand and kept at one pile height whilst the wool of the rug is cut down to a lower pile height.
This involves a high level of skill and precision. This allows elements of the traditional design and contemporary design to fuse together creating a unique effect. Meticulous attention to textural detail and skillful hand processes make these contemporary luxury rugs among the finest in the world.
Image courtesy of Thibault Van Renne
Read our Definative Guide on rug quality to find out more about hand knotted rugs and what makes a top quality luxury rug
If you would like help on finding beautiful textured rugs for your home, we’d love to help.
We have hundreds of luxury rugs for sale available for immediate delivery, with many pieces on show in our London Showroom.
We also create bespoke rugs to order, with any of our Core Collection designs available in any size and colour and a range of different textures.