Wool Rugs and Fibers in Carpet Weaving
How is Wool Harvested and Woven into Rugs and Carpets?
Wool Rugs – Wool is the most common material used in making rugs, at least in regard to the pile or the flat-woven facing of the rug. It comes primarily from sheep, although goat hair can be used as well. The quality of these fibers can and does vary enormously.
Some sheep produce wool that is soft and lustrous, with a silky sheen that is enlivened by proper illumination. Others may have wool that is more dull and un-reflective… but those that are more lustrous are generally moist or lanolin-rich. They are far healthier and more durable than those that are dry.
One of the most important choices that weavers make is the quality of the wool they use. It affects the cost and value of a rug, as well as its ability to stand up to use. Some, however, were chosenfor their fineness, softness, and textural delicacy.
They come from the neck and belly of the sheep, like Angora, or, in the case of Indian Pashmina, from the downy layer close to the skin of the animal. Wool may also be used for the foundation of the rug as well as for the pile or facing.
The rug weavers who used wool fibers to construct the carpet’s foundations were mostly tribal, nomadic or tribes people. Therefore, their rugs are more typical of the village rug weaving where the designs are more primitive and the construction would not be as fine.