I was a Boy Scout for a short time when I was a kid. I made Tenderfoot before quitting after being rebuked by the scout leader for sneezing during the Pledge of Allegiance. Sometimes I wish I’d held on a little longer and learned a bit more about knots. So here I am, in my dotage, thanks to my interest in rugs, carpets and tapestries, learning something about knots. I learned, for example, that according to somearcheologists the art of knot making may go back as far as 400,000 years; it may even predate the use of fire; that some modern apes are believed to have very elementary skills at knotting and ropework. They would probably make better Scouts than I did. (thanks to the LowTechMagazine.Com for this bit of knot lore)
I also learned that the word “knot” is derived from the Old English word cnotta which meant the intertwining of ropes and cords. I mean, who Gnu?
And while fumbling around the Internet looking for more stuff about knotting I decided to find out how fast a nautical knot is….the answer is 1.852km or as my fellow Americans would read it 1.15077945 miles per hour.
OK, we have spent enough time making up for a wasted youth. Let’s get on with the information we’ve gleaned about The Tibetan Rug Knot. First of all, if you’re after information on the knot used by Tibetan rug makers, be sure you specify the “Tibetan Rug Knot” in your search box. Emphasis on the word “Rug!” If you simply ask for information on the “Tibetan Knot” you are going to learn a lot about the “Eight Auspicious Symbols” of Tibetan Buddhism and nothing about making Tibetan Rugs. Apparently the term “Tibetan Knot” is taken by Google to refer to the “endless knot” or the “eternal knot” an important Tibetan cultural marker. Notice the image of the “eternal knot” below this paragraph….
Which brings us at last to the subject of our post, the Tibetan Rug Knot. We found this great description and image of the Tibetan Rug Knot at the Jacobson Rugs website, an excellent source of information on rugs, carpets and tapestries.
In all elements of design and construction Tibetan rugs are distinctly different from types made in other weaving areas. Tibetan rugs are woven by wrapping a continuous length of yarn over a rod laid across the warps stretched on the loom. When the rod has been wrapped for its entire length, a knife is slid along the rod, cutting the wrapped yarn into two rows of pile tufts.