Understand the techniques and terminology around floor rug construction.
Our Baya cowhides are all sourced from Brazil, best known as premium producers of quality leather and hide products over many years. Brazilian hides, mostly farmed in the south of the country, are known to be excellent quality and more durable than other global supply sources, due to contributing factors such as favourable climate, stronger cattle breeds and their unique tanning processes.
These are usually thin flatweave rugs – a term often used in India where they originated, also well known in the surrounding countries of Burma, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Dhurrie rugs are usually very durable, woven on looms using techniques of skilled craftspeople handed down generations.
A flokati-style rug is handmade - either handknotted or handwoven and is shaggy in appearance. The natural colour of a flokati is off-white, but they can be dyed different colours. The entire floor rug is wool, including the backing from which the tapered shag emerges. Traditionally after the floor rug is woven, it is placed in the cold water of a river to fluff the shag pile. Flokati-style rugs show off the natural beauty of wool and look surprisingly similar to the hide of sheep or goats.
Braided rugs are handmade by plaiting yarns into a cord, and then stitching this cord together to form the shape of the rug. The braiding technique is particularly effective in creating round or oval shaped rugs.
The manufacturing process of hand-knotted rugs is very time consuming and taxing, requiring the weaver to insert knots to the vertical threads of the rug and tie each knot by hand. Due to this laborious process, some of these rugs have been known to take up to 6-9 months to make.
Tufting is not a fully handmade process, instead, a handheld mechanised tool called a tufting gun is used. This inserts pieces of yarn through a heavy cotton backing fabric, ‘shooting’ the fibres through at speed. This produces a pile as the threads emerge onto the front side of the cloth. For patterned rugs, the rugmaker follows a design drawn on the backing.
Handmade flatweave floor rugs are woven on looms by hand either on pit looms, Punja looms or hand looms, usually controlled by one or two weavers. In this technique, flat-woven rugs are made with a two-dimensional construction. They do not have a pile and are made of sets of interlacing threads called warp and weft. This technique often produces flat and lighter-weight rugs.
Textured rugs are generally woven on large looms, by 1-3 people depending on the rug size. The width of the rug (or loom) determines how many weavers are required. Texture is obtained during weaving by using different thicknesses of yarns or by applying techniques during the weaving process. Sometimes a tool will be used by the weaver to create loops, twists, braiding or similar – skills often handed down generations.
Another term used for flatweave rugs, but often with traditional designs. A kilim is traditionally from Turkey, Iran, or countries of the former Persian Empire, with a tapestry-like appearance and method of weaving. Anatolian designs are common in this style of floor rug.
Machine-made floor rugs are generally a more affordable option, made on large power looms, often using computerised processes. The fibres used are usually polypropylene, polyester, microfibre or acrylic which usually makes for a very hardwearing rug.
This term is used to describe a textured rug with a long soft pile. These shaggy rugs are often made from heavy wool and are woven on large looms. Shaggy pile rugs can also be made on large, computerised looms from fibres such as polyester, polypropylene, or acrylic. Pile lengths can vary from 8mm up to 50 or 60mm.