Rug Knots: How To Count Them And Why It Does Not Mean Quality

Have you ever wondered how knot counts of a rug are determined or if the knot count correlates with the price of a rug?

At our show gallery in Corona Del Mar, CA, we have noticed that many customers use the knot count of a rug to determine if one rug is superior to another. Although the KPSI or knots per square inch is a good indicator of how labor intensive the rug was to create, just counting the knots alone isn’t a good indicator of the quality of the Oriental Rug. Each country has a traditional knot count specific to that area. A medium knot count rug of 200 kpsi could be a very high quality example of weaving from a particular nomadic tribe.

How To Determine Knot Count

Knots per square inch or KPSI is calculated by counting the knots on the back of a rug across a vertical and horizontal inch and multiplying the two numbers. A vertical count of 14 and a horizontal count of 14 would give you a 196 KPSI. This seems rather straight forward, but different regions tend to use slightly different measurements in calculating knot count.

Oriental rugs from India measure knot count with two numbers such as “5/40” or “13/65.” The first number is called the bis and the second number is referred to as the bhutan. The bis is calculated by counting the number of knots in a 9/10th of a inch across a horizontal plane. The bhutan is calculated by counting the knots vertically in 4 ½ inches. To translate an Indian rug knot count into KPSI you multiple the two numbers, bis and bhutan, and then divide them by 4.05.

Persian rug knot counts are calculated differently dependent on what region weaved the rug:

  • Tabriz rugs are calculated by using the rug’s Raj. The Raj is measured by counting the number of knots across 2 3/4inchs of rug. A standard quality Tabriz rug is 35 Raj or 162 KPSI.
  • Nain Rugs use the term LAA. LAA is the number of yarn threads in an individual fringe at the end of a rug. The lower the LAA, the higher quality the rug is. The finest Nain rugs have a 4 LAA.
  • Isfahan rugs have different colored threads between fringes and the rug’s pile called kheft. Kheft is measured across one meter and the number of different threads is an indication of quality.

Chinese rugs are measured using line counts. You calculate the line count by counting the number of knots measured in a linear foot of a rug. In most Chinese rugs, the vertical count is the same as the horizontal count.

Knots Are Not Everything

When deciding on your next area rug, learn where the rug was created. It will give you a better understanding of what the knot numbers mean and whether the knot count is indicative of quality from that certain region. But most importantly, knowing what region the rug came from you’ll better appreciate the little nuances that represent the weaving traditions of the region. The color, pattern, and complexity or simplicity is what’s used in deciphering the quality of the rug.

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Rug Resources

2831 E Pacific Coast Hwy
Corona Del Mar, California
United States (US)
Phone: 9496731693
Email: Soroush@Rugresources.com
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Rug Knots: How to Count Knots & Do They Impact Quality?

You may be aware that all rugs are made up of knots, but did you know that when it comes to oriental rugs, generally three different types of knots could be used?

Senneh Knots

Senneh knots, also known as the Persian Knot is an asymmetrical knot that is used by many weavers in Iran, India, Turkey, Egypt, and China. This knot is created by looping the yard around two warp strands and allowing only a single warp strand to be completely encircled. The yard is then passed behind the adjoining warp and the weaver makes sure the two ends have a single warp dividing them. The knot is then wrapped in either direction and dependent on the direction, weavers refer to them as being open either on the right or the left.

This style of knot allows for a higher density of knots and because of this, more detail in the designs. Fine detail and complexity are signs of a Senneh Knotted rug. When used with silk, beautiful and intricate designs can be created and the rug is feather soft to the touch.

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Ghiordes Knots

Ghiordes knots, also known as Turkish knots have their origins in you guessed it, Turkey. These symmetrical knots are created by taking the yarn and wrapping it across two adjoining warp strands. It is then pulled back through both warps and then drawn through the center so that both ends emerge from between the same warps.

This type of knot is characterized by very secure pile constructions which allows a strong consistency throughout the rug. Because of the consistency, this knot is used for thicker rugs. These single knots are used by Anatolian and Caucasian groups in Turkey along with a number of other Turkish and Kurdish tribes in Iran.

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Jufti Knots

A Jufti Knot is created when a knot is placed over four, instead of two, warp threads. The weft is then placed in one or more rows. These rugs can be both symmetrical and asymmetrical. Rugs composed of Jufti Knots are usually less durable than rugs created with Ghiordes or Senneh Knots. A Jufti Knot rug tends to also look more shaggy and loose than the above knots.

When looking for a new rug, keep in mind that rugs created with these loose Jufti Knots should be less expensive then rugs created with the above knots. These rugs are prevalent in Khorasan rugs from Iran.

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Knowing the difference between these three popular knot styles will better prepare you for your next trip to the rug store. If you’re interested in a new rug or would just like to browse some beautiful handmade art pieces click here.

Or stop by our showroom in sunny Corona Del Mar, Newport Beach CA. We would love to show you around.

Rug Resources

2831 E Pacific Coast Hwy
Corona Del Mar, California
United States (US)
Phone: 9496731693
Email: Soroush@Rugresources.com
URL: