Metamorphosis of a Modern Oushak Rug

Posted by Brooke Ray on

Quite a few people wonder why the timeline to get their made to order rug is quite long, so we thought we’d guide you through the whole process from start to finish!

Locust Lane takes a lot of pride in the quality and craftsmanship of our rugs, which is why we design our own and don’t just order stock from other vendors. We only use the finest materials and the most trustworthy craftsmen to weave our wares to ensure that when your rug gets to you that it’s everything you dreamed! 

The rug’s journey begins with carding and spinning. Carding is the process where the fibers of wool and silk are cleaned, straightened, and intermixed into individual strands by hand until they are ready for spinning. These strands are then handspun into yarn with the aid of a Nepalese spinning wheel, which is called a charkha. After the yarn is spun, they move on to dyeing it. Here, the Dye Master, who is in charge of preparing the dyes to our specifications, pot dyes the yarn in small batches to ensure each color remains consistent, therefore ensuring the integrity of the rug. Once the color is perfect, the yarn is then allowed to dry in the sun. Solar drying, which can take weeks, makes sure the color is evenly distributed throughout the fibers, in addition to lending a special luster to the colors.

Once the yarn has dried, the strands are wound into loom-ready shapes in a process known as balling. They then take on the appearance of the yarn balls you can find at craft stores, but are special in that they are methodically balled by hand. Then, they can finally move onto weaving! Hand-knotted rug weaving involves the use of a special loom, which is comprised of a wooden frame strung like a harp. The vertical threads, known as warps, are looped tightly between the top and bottom of the frame to create even tension and structure. The yarn is then hand-knotted horizontally through the warps using a horizontal metal friend, every knot continuously connected from the first. Though time-consuming, this process is known the world around for producing rugs of the highest caliber. When the weaving is complete, a preliminary hand carving of the rug is produced using scissors. 

The rug is then thoroughly washed on both sides, making sure that any dust or grime is removed by using a wooden paddle called a pharwa. Washing has the added benefit of helping soften the rug, resulting in a lovely texture that is enhanced by their final wash in Himalayan water. They are then placed on a stretcher, both to dry and to ensure correct sizing. Once this process is complete, they work on evening out the design details using flat-bladed shears which are known as Kainchi. The Kainchi are also used to remove any uneven threads and to make sure the knots are uniform. This brings us to the final stage of creation, which is binding, during which the edges of the rug are hand-bound with a needle and yarn of colors which match the design.

The rug is finally ready for its new home! Our process ensures that your rug is a completely unique, one-of-a-kind creation of unparalleled quality. The best things take time, but we will keep you updated every step of the way! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you!



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