Iranian carpets are known for their exquisite beauty, craftsmanship, and diversity. One of the most important aspects of Iranian carpets is the type of knot that is used to create the piles. The knot determines the appearance, texture, durability, and value of the carpet, and it reflects the history and technique of different weaving regions. In this article, we will explore the different types of knots used in Iranian carpets and how to recognize and appreciate them.
This knot has a symmetrical shape in terms of movement. This means that the knot can be divided into two equal halves.
Symmetrical Right Knot
In this knot, the lower pile is tied to the left pile (upper pile). The lower pile is placed on the right side of the upper pile, so this knot is called a symmetrical right knot. It is also known as "Azari" or "Turkish".
This knot is usually done with a hook. The piles are tight and stretched on the warp, and the carpet made with this weave is usually "stiff" and "inflexible". This knot is commonly used in the Azarbaijan region.
Symmetrical Left Knot
In this knot, the upper pile is tied to its left (lower pile). The lower pile is placed on the left side, so this knot is called a symmetrical left knot. It is also known as "Kurdish knot" in terminology.
This knot is usually done by hand, and the piles are less tense than when done with a hook. Doing a knot by hand requires more flexibility from the piles.
The carpet made with this weave is usually softer than the previous one. This knot is commonly used in Kurdish areas (Bijar, etc.).
This knot has no specific symmetry in its shape.
Asymmetrical Left Knot
In this knot, the lower pile is tied to its right pile. The lower pile is placed on the left side of the upper pile, so this knot is called an asymmetrical left knot. This knot is also known as "Persian" and is popular in many areas such as: "Isfahan, Qom, Nain, Kashan, etc.". This knot is done by hand and the piles are not too tight.
Asymmetrical Right Knot
In this knot, the lower pile is tied to its left pile (upper pile). The lower pile is placed on the right side of the upper pile, so this knot is called an asymmetrical right knot. This knot is rarely used in some weaving areas, and it is also done by hand.
U shaped knots
Regular U shaped knot
This knot is done by looping the yarn around the piles under the thick warp. It is not very strong. A carpet made with this knot is usually called a "knotless carpet". There are different methods of doing this knot. This type of knot is widely used in areas such as "Kerman" (which is famous for its bow tie) and Nain.
Crooked U shaped knot
In this type of knot, the yarn loops around the upper pile on the thick warp and then both ends of the yarn pass under the right pile (lower pile) and come out from the surface of the carpet. This knot is stronger than "knot u". This type of knot is not very common and it is rarely seen in areas such as "Sabzevar".
This type of knot can be used in different weaving regions and it can resemble any of the knots mentioned above in terms of shape and movement around piles. The difference is that instead of wrapping around one pile, it wraps around two or more piles. This may have been done for economic reasons.
Among regions where weaving with this type of knots are common are “Isfahan, Nain, Shahr-eza etc.”.
We have learned about the different types of knots used in Iranian carpets and how they affect the quality and style of these ancient rugs. We have seen that there are symmetrical, asymmetrical, u, jufti, double, and Tibetan knots, and that each one has its own characteristics and advantages. We have also learned how to identify the type of knot by looking at the shape and movement of the piles. By knowing more about the knots in Iranian carpets, we can better understand and enjoy the art and science of carpet weaving.