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Knot Density

Persian carpets are made from either wool, silk or a combination. Cotton is also used as a foundation for the warps and wefts (refer to the glossary).

Wool is the most common material used for its durability and versatility. There is a wide variety of wool used in carpet weaving, each with different properties. Wool carpets tend to have a coarser texture than silk and are woven with a lower knot density. However wool carpets are very durable and can hold up nicely with foot traffic or the weight of furniture.

The wool used in Persian carpets is most usually sheep’s wool but other sources also include kork wool (underbelly of the lamb), Manchester wool and camel hair wool. The lamb and sheep that produce the wool are from the mountainous regions of Iran where the harsh winters necessitate a thick coat for the animals.

The choice of wool depends on the quality of the carpet that the artist is producing. For example, kork and sheep’s wool tend to be much softer in texture and are used in higher quality rugs.

The silk used in Persian carpets comes from a combination of domestic and imported suppliers. Silk carpets are less common than wool carpets since silk is more expensive and is not used for mass production. Carpets made from silk tend to be much finer and more intricate and generally of a much higher artistic value.

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