Persian Rug Weaving

Building the foundation steps have been completed, here is a step-by-step view of the weaving process.

Weaving includes tying knots by hand one row at a time followed by a row(s) of wefts to keep them secure and repeating the process.

For this piece, we’re using a Turkish (Symmetric) knot (shown on the right) which wraps around both warps. We will have 23 knots across each row.
If needed, other lessons give explanation on the design, building a foundation and how to tie symmetric knots. We begin after we have built a foundation including several rows of kilim. Adding first row of knots:

Note: For demonstration purposes, in some pictures I will use white and blue colored warp yarns to represent the right and the left warps, respectively. This is intended to help viewers recognize each knot is tied on two warp strings.

This rug will have one weft per row of knots. Once a row of knots has been completed, we run a weft across under the right (white) warps (Alternatively, it could have begun under the left, or blue, warps). The key is to alternate between the two after each row.

After the weft is run across, we secure it by beating it down with the comb.

After each row of knots the excess knot material, typically wool is trimmed down using scissors.

The second row of knots is tied on top of the weft.

Once the second row is completed, the next row of weft is run by moving the shed, which runs under the left (blue) warp. This rug has one weft per row of knots.

The weft continues to alternate each row between the right (white) and the left (blue) warp. The weaving process continues one row at a time by tying knots according to our design shown below.

Below are the pictures of the FRONT and BACK of the rug as each row is progressively woven until the rug is completed. Remember, each row will follow the predefined design. Please note that, viewed from the BACK of the rug, a “pattern” is developing as each row is woven. This pattern will be recognizable on each and every rug woven in this way (with one weft), regardless of the design itself. It is critical to separate the rug design from the weave pattern.

Here is the finished product:

There are two major weaving techniques, each with several variations. These variations make up all the rug weaving regions in Iran. Using one of these techniques, the rug we just completed, is called a 2N weave. The “N” in 2N represents visible nodes; therefore, 2N denotes two visible nodes that form one knot. This rug will only have one weft per each row of knots.

If you’ve followed the lessons and watched the videos, you now have a solid understanding of how rugs are woven. From building a foundation to weaving, to finishing a rug, all hand-made rugs share these principles. Even though they use variations of these techniques, the principles are consistent.

My eBook will also examine the many nuances for weaving techniques including four variations of the 2N, and five variations of the 1N (D) weaves.

Video: 2N weave

We will now look at the second technique called a 1N (D) weave where from the back of the rug every node represents ONE knot. Taken from what we learned about 2N, 1N refers to a knot with one visible node but the “D” denotes the knot is “depressed” – one of the warps is pressed forward and not visible from the back. This rug will have two wefts per each row of knots.

My eBook will also examine the many nuances for weaving techniques including four variations of the 2N, and five variations of the 1N (D) weaves.

Below are the pictures of the FRONT and BACK of the rug as each row is progressively woven until the rug is completed. Remember, each row will follow the predefined design. Please note that, viewed from the BACK of the rug, a “pattern” is developing as each row is woven. This pattern will be recognizable on each and every rug woven in this way (with two wefts), regardless of the design itself. It is critical to separate the rug design from the weave pattern.

Here is the finished product:

Video: 1N weave

If you are curious to learn more, my eBook The Art of Oriental Rugs – A Weaver’s Perspective shows you: 1) how to identify a weave** and how different techniques produce “recognizable” variations in different regions, 2) maps with geographical views of where rugs are woven in the country of Iran and how the regional weaves influence each other, and 3) 750+ close-up pictures of weaves from 170+ rug-weaving regions in Iran and around the globe. This, I humbly hope, will be seen as an indispensable addition to any library.

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Persian Rug Weaving

A step-by-step view of the weaving process.

Weaving includes tying knots by hand one row at a time followed by a row(s) of wefts to keep them secure and repeating the process.

For this piece, we’re using a Turkish (Symmetric) knot (shown on the right) which wraps around both warps. We will have 23 knots across each row.
If needed, other lessons give explanation on the design, building a foundation and how to tie symmetric knots. We begin after we have built a foundation including several rows of kilim. Adding first row of knots:

Note: For demonstration purposes, in some pictures I will use white and blue colored warp yarns to represent the right and the left warps, respectively. This is intended to help viewers recognize each knot is tied on two warp strings.

This rug will have one weft per row of knots. Once a row of knots has been completed, we run a weft across under the right (white) warps (Alternatively, it could have begun under the left, or blue, warps). The key is to alternate between the two after each row.

After the weft is run across, we secure it by beating it down with the comb.

After each row of knots the excess knot material, typically wool is trimmed down using scissors.

The second row of knots is tied on top of the weft.

Once the second row is completed, the next row of weft is run by moving the shed, which runs under the left (blue) warp. This rug has one weft per row of knots.

The weft continues to alternate each row between the right (white) and the left (blue) warp. The weaving process continues one row at a time by tying knots according to our design shown below.

Below are the pictures of the FRONT and BACK of the rug as each row is progressively woven until the rug is completed. Remember, each row will follow the predefined design. Please note that, viewed from the BACK of the rug, a “pattern” is developing as each row is woven. This pattern will be recognizable on each and every rug woven in this way (with one weft), regardless of the design itself. It is critical to separate the rug design from the weave pattern.

Here is the finished product:

There are two major weaving techniques, each with several variations. These variations make up all the rug weaving regions in Iran. Using one of these techniques, the rug we just completed, is called a 2N weave. The “N” in 2N represents visible nodes; therefore, 2N denotes two visible nodes that form one knot. This rug will only have one weft per each row of knots.

If you’ve followed the lessons and watched the videos, you now have a solid understanding of how rugs are woven. From building a foundation to weaving, to finishing a rug, all hand-made rugs share these principles. Even though they use variations of these techniques, the principles are consistent.

My eBook will also examine the many nuances for weaving techniques including four variations of the 2N, and five variations of the 1N (D) weaves.

Video: 2N weave

We will now look at the second technique called a 1N (D) weave where from the back of the rug every node represents ONE knot. Taken from what we learned about 2N, 1N refers to a knot with one visible node but the “D” denotes the knot is “depressed” – one of the warps is pressed forward and not visible from the back. This rug will have two wefts per each row of knots.

My eBook will also examine the many nuances for weaving techniques including four variations of the 2N, and five variations of the 1N (D) weaves.

Below are the pictures of the FRONT and BACK of the rug as each row is progressively woven until the rug is completed. Remember, each row will follow the predefined design. Please note that, viewed from the BACK of the rug, a “pattern” is developing as each row is woven. This pattern will be recognizable on each and every rug woven in this way (with two wefts), regardless of the design itself. It is critical to separate the rug design from the weave pattern.

Here is the finished product:

Video: 1N weave

If you are curious to learn more, my eBook The Art of Oriental Rugs – A Weaver’s Perspective shows you: 1) how to identify a weave** and how different techniques produce “recognizable” variations in different regions, 2) maps with geographical views of where rugs are woven in the country of Iran and how the regional weaves influence each other, and 3) 750+ close-up pictures of weaves from 170+ rug-weaving regions in Iran and around the globe. This, I humbly hope, will be seen as an indispensable addition to any library.

< previous
Back to lessons
next >

*Historically, Persia was the common name used by western countries for Iran (pronounced e-ron) until 1935 when the country was officially named Iran. The words Iranian and/or Persian represent the same proud nation and people.
**Weave refers to the unique pattern of knot formations on the back of rugs.
***bofandeh means “weaver” in Farsi (Persian) which is the language of Iran.