Types of Carpet by Production

In comparing all of the factors that influence quality and price, rugs are generally categorised into three types: tribal, village and city.


Tribal pieces are typically the most economical. Carpet weaving is often a hobby for these makers, and traditionally a way for the ladies to use their free time.
Usually these carpets come to the market to be traded for basic commodities like fabric, tobacco, tea and sugar. When these sellers are in the market, they will sell it for as much as required to cover their needs. Merchants are able to buy this product at a lower cost, which is reflected in the price the customer will pay.
Rugs are made using all the elements the weavers find around them; wool from their sheep, looms cut from trees, and dyes from vegetables, plants and insects found in their surrounding area.
These makers use their own traditional designs and motifs, which have been passed down through generations. These rugs are not very sophisticated in shape and design.
Usually there are many mistakes in production and design. The makers believe the reason for this is that no-one is perfect, except for God.
The finished product is a work of art that suits both a modern interiors and traditional furnishings. Although simple, a tribal rug has the ability to transform a room and pull it together.
Tribal carpets have a coarse weave, using mainly hand-spun wool on the pile and the foundation of the carpet.


In villages carpet weavers have better facilities and a permanent place for their looms. Usually weavers work as a group, gathering together in homes to produce designs.
Their designs are a little more sophisticated than tribal pieces because they have a closer link to the cities and therefore better access to materials such as dye, wool and cotton. Every village weaver has their own design style, which they have inherited from their tribal background.
Village carpets have a coarse weave, and they use wool or cotton for the foundation, with a wool pile. Generally, these rugs have more knots per inch than tribal rugs, but less than city-made rugs. When a larger-sized carpet is required, weavers assemble a loom outdoors and all the neighbours work as a group to finish it.


City-made carpets are more sophisticated in design and colour than tribal or village rugs, which is reflected in the price. These rugs are regarded as some of the very highest forms of art.
They are predominantly made in workshops, which are controlled by a master weaver and manager. Workshop production also makes it possible for larger pieces to be created.
In order to make a finer piece, cotton or silk are used for the foundation, as this allows more knots to be woven per square cm. Silk and cotton can be spun very fine but are still strong enough to be stretched on a loom for carpet weaving. City-made carpets use silk – either partly or predominantly – for the pile instead of wool. Silk is more expensive than wool, which means that silk carpets are usually more expensive than wool carpets.
The number of knots in city-made rugs is usually between 9 and 15 per square centimetre. This higher number of knots allows for a sharper design. At 15 knots per square centimetre, the rug would contain one and a half million knots per square metre. Creating such a fine rug requires a highly skilled – and patient – weaver, with a sharp eye for detail.
A designer at the workshop will paint the design on graph paper before the work commences. This allows the weavers to study the design and look at the harmony of colours, and for corrections to be made before work starts. The final design is then printed and the weaver uses this as a guide while working.
Even in a workshop with many weavers, this level of craftsmanship and attention to detail can take a lot of time; experienced master weavers can take weeks, months, or even years to weave a single rug.