Tag Archives: it takes a village

It takes a village… Rug Weaving

weaving oriental rugs

Not all oriental rugs are made the same.  Even some rugs that are made in the same method, start in very different places and travel a differing path.  That’s part of the reason why many of our program rugs (available in different sizes) can actually cost more than our one-of-a-kind pieces.  Seem confusing?  We can explain.  Read on to learn why.

Basic Rug Pricing

In it’s simplest form, oriental rugs are priced by the square foot.  How much cost is involved in the materials and time needed to produce that square foot of rug is key.  One-of-a-kind handmade rugs take a long time to make, but the infrastructure needed to make such a piece is relatively small.  Programmed rugs require a much larger infrastructure to keep reproducing the same pattern and colors in multiple sizes, and therefore will generally cost more per square foot.

Unlike machine-made rugs, handmade and hand-knotted rugs stand apart , with over 80 steps in production before a rug is ever inspected and shipped to the United States.  From the purchase of raw wool to the final finishing and washing steps, massive amounts of skilled artisan effort is needed to ensure a consistent product.

Weaving Oriental Rugs – The Numbers

When they say it takes a village, in terms of weaving oriental rugs, the statement is literal.  As an example, Jaipur Rugs, one of our manufacturers based out of India presents the following numbers:  Initial sorting of the raw wool takes 50-60 workers.  Another 15-20 are employed to wash the raw wool.  60 skilled workers are needed to card and separate the wool.  For hand-spinning wool into yarn (about half of our inventory is made from hand-spun wool) approximately 12,000 skilled artisans are needed to create enough wool yarn to keep up with demand.  35 master dye-makers will procure and create dyes to be applied to the yarn.  A whopping 28,000 weavers will be employed under master weavers, and another 500 will be used to specialize in finishing.  40-50 workers specialize in transportation.  THAT’S A LOT OF PEOPLE needed to create the rug in your living room, huh?