Turk, cork, cork wool
Fine wool in oriental rugs
In Persian, Kurk, also known as cork, means something similar to downy and has become synonymous with finely thread yarns. Nonetheless, it is an undisputed term for fine wool. The ethymological origin of this word, which also appears to be a foreign word in Persian and Turkish, is uncertain. Another explanation relates it to the Irish city of Cork. At the end of the 19th century, specially fine-thread sheep's wool yarns were shipped to the Orient via its harbor. This assumption is further supported by the quality assertion "Manchester Wool", which was also imported from the British Isles into Persia, found in old oriental rugs of the group of the so-called "American Saroughs".
The composition and origin of earlier Cork wool yarns is therefore unclear. Nevertheless, these are always very fine-thread, almost velvety-feeling knotting yarns. In Iran, for example in the fine Isfahans, cork wool is nowadays a yarn, half of which is made up of imports and half of native wool.
The term Cork wool, which is often used in the trade as commendation for particularly good wool pile, is not legally defined anywhere. In addition, the Textile Labeling Act (TKG) does not recognise the term Cork, and so it is that only the supplier that determines what Cork wool is..
Technical term for orient carpet-specific colour jumps
Imperfections are light-dark difference in shadings of colour, i.e. slight to distinctive different hue changes of the pile yarn, that always run in Oriental rugs transverse to the longitudinal direction. In English they are also called color-jumps.
The word "imperfection" in Turkish can mean patchy, shady. They are particularly noticeable on flat colour areas and are a phenomenon that is quite common in Oriental rugs. As a result, they are regarded as an orientational characteristic.
In the case of nomadic and peasantry carpets particularly, they virtually belong to it; at least - depending on the point of view of the interested party - they are largely tolerated or even desired. High-quality handmade carpets, however, should be free of surprise.
Also, different natural wool colours, ranging from beige to brown to black, may be the cause, because the colours cover it differently. Decisive are the different temperatures of the dyes, differing consistency of the dye - especially in natural dyes -, more intensive or shorter cooking, sun-drying of the dyed fabric, various stains, residual fat content of wool, mineral content and ph value of water, colour reactions in a refining laundry, etc.
Any existing imperfections on atelier or manufactured carpets are usually colour matched retrospectively. Poorly executed tinting can result in an pre-existing, previously imperceptible flaw suddenly appearing after a later wash. Repeated staining can remedy the situation.
On the other hand, imperfections are so specific, sometimes popular patterned oriental carpet characteristics for industrially produced carpets as product-specific decorative elements are imitated and artificially copied. If the amount of dye differs slightly in the next batch, this can result in slight changes to the hue and changes in the colour occur due to the break-down of keratin (protein in wool).
Yarn strength indication in Nain
A first guide to the fineness of the Nain rug is the classification in Lah. With Lah and the associated numeral, the Nain carpet is the number of yarns that are twisted into a warp yarn. The more rovings are included in the final yarn, the thicker the warp thread.
Then, of course, the knotting knot, which is basically wound around the warp yarns, becomes more voluminous and the weaving accordingly becomes coarser. It can be concluded that few Lah correspond to a thinner thread, thus requiring a finer knotting. The Lah number is only to be understood as a rough indication of knotting density. In Nain itself, the knot densities are also given in Cheft, a classification, as is customary in Isfahan.
4-Lah-Nains, an extreme subtelty with up to 1.4 million knots per square meter occasionally appear in the West. In order to serve the market for affordable carpets, the desire for more cost-effective knotting adjustments was soon met, and 9-Lah supplied a steadily growing share of production over the years. In everyday use, the 9-Lah-knots are robust and durable.
Initially, the Nain wevers were geared only to high knot intricacy. With less than 6 Lah few pieces were produced by the limited few weavers. At its finest, the market even offers 3-gauge knotted densities that are equivalent to petit-point embroidery, but extremely rare on the market. In Europe, it is not traded.
The coarsest Nain knots from Kashmar and Tabas even have 12-Lah.
Oriental rug, partially knotted and woven
The Persian word Nimbaff is composed of nim = half and baf = knot / knotted, thus means something like "half-knotted". The term Nimbaff refers to oriental rugs that are partially knotted and partially woven. The web components are mostly worked in kilim or soumach technique. In Iran, the term Nimbaff is also used for looped carpets. Similar knot-weave combinations are called Golbadjeste in Afghanistan.
Designation for a carpet knot
There are only two basic knots to make oriental rugs. One is called Gördes knot, Turkish knot, Turkbaff or Symmetrical knot, the other is the Asymmetric knot (Senneh knot, Sennehbaff, Persian knot).
In contrast to the Asymmetric knot, both woven thread legs completely wrap around both warp threads in a Symmetrical Knot. If the pile is bent in the weft direction, looking from above into the bottom of a knotted carpet, it can be seen whether the carpet was woven with symmetrical or asymmetrical knots.
Common carpet knot
There are only two basic knots used to make oriental rugs. One is called the Gördes knot, the other is the Senneh knot, also called Sennehbaff, Persian knot, Farsibaff or Asymmetric knot. Why it takes the name of the city of Senneh, in which only the other, the Gördes node is used, is not known. Certainly it was not "invented" in this city, nor is it limited to Persia or Persian-speaking peoples, but - like his brother Gördes - it spread throughout the country. Some peoples also use both types of knots, sometimes even in the same rug.
In contrast to the symmetrical, only one warp thread is fully wrapped around the woven thread in the asymmetrical knot, while the other knot leg completely encloses the warp thread. Technically quite correct one can speak here of an asymmetry, thus an asymmetrical knot. However, both knotting nodes are qualitatively absolutely equivalent. Again and again encountered hints with one or the other knot could be tighter or narrower, lack any basis, because with both you can make rough to super fine, firm and loose, high and flat pile.
If the pile is bent in the weft direction and you look from above into the bottom of a knotted carpet, it can be seen which knot was used.
Time and material saving node over two warp threads
The so-called Djufti node (Djuft = pers. For couple) is the saving variant of common knotting nodes. The Kashmir silk rugs have another name for the Djufti knot: in India it is known as the "Langri" knot. Literally, its translation is quite meaningful "lame woman". This is not a separate node form, but a modified common node type. In contrast to the "normal" Knots knot, the Djufti is wound not over 1 pair (1 + 1) warp threads, but over 2 pairs (2 + 2) warp threads. This saves time - instead of two knots, the knotter only knots one knot in the direction of the weft - and also material - only half of the pile yarn that is normally used is required per knit row. The Djufti-knotted pile is noticeably thinner due to its half density, the quality correspondingly worse.
The best way to test whether the Djufti Knot has been used is by running your thumb firmly against the pile - preferably in direct comparison with a comparable rug that you know is knotted with the regular knot. Another difficult method for identifying djufti-knotted carpets is bending in monochrome areas of the carpet in the warp direction (longitudinal direction). In normal knotting setting this fanned into clearly separated longitudinal ribs. If, on the other hand, it is a Djufti knot, the curled surface often appears irregular or slightly wavy. In the basic fabric of the carpet or on the back, the Djufti knot is usually not visible.