around the warp; the weft secures the rows of knots. A single weaver might
tie 10,000 or so knots a day. Robinson likens the knotting process to building
a brick wall—row upon row, each brick secured to the next by mortar. It is a
months-long endeavor before a 9-foot by 12-foot rug is ready to be removed
from the loom and finished.
The only power tool in the process is used to shear the surface of a nascent
rug, after which it is washed, usually with natural products made from nuts, and
dried. “I think my favorite part of [rug-making] is the washing,” says Chad Stark.
“It brings out the sheen, gives it life, like shampooing your hair. Minimum washing is two times, but sometimes it can go through a dozen or so washings to make
it look like an old rug.” After being hung vertically to drain, a rug is stretched
on a frame and placed on the roof of a mill or house to dry in the sun. “During
monsoon season, obviously, production slows down,” notes Stark. Once it’s dry,
workers take up to a week down on their hands and knees with needles, scissors,
a pick, and a knife to do finishing work, including serging the edges, clipping,
and making design repairs.
That rug you ordered 10 or 12 months ago gets a final quality inspection
before it is rolled, packaged, and placed on the back of a bicycle for delivery to
a container at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport.
Margaret Shakespeare covers wine, food, archaeology, wildlife, and music regularly for
national publications. She is a frequent design-topic contributor to Landscape Architecture
Magazine and has written elsewhere about design. She lives in New York City and the
farmlands of Long Island.
7. Samples in Stark showrooms across the
United States highlight the variety of rug
possibilities for designers and their clients.
Request literature at CLIFFSIDEIND.COM/ASID or call 800.873.9258