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Old November 7th, 2017, 05:33 PM   #17
Marla Mallett
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 14

Hello Turkotekers,

Since Kay wishes to avoid any talk of structures in Tibetan rugs, I must say that proximity to the rugs over a period of years is not the same as being willing to observe and analyze their structures closely. TIBETAN KNOTTING IS ONE OF THE MOST DISTINCTIVE STRUCTURES IN THE TEXTILE/RUG WORLD , and a close look at any of those pieces that one has in hand makes a correct POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION absolutely certain. NO guesswork is required.

1. The most distinguishing feature of Tibetan knotting is that each knot interlaces with four warps instead of two—and the knots overlap. Tufts from two different knots emerge together from between alternate pairs of warps. One can probe the weaving with a needle to discern the presence of this feature, but it is nearly impossible to display in a photo.

2. Since more than one yarn is normally used as the working unit in Tibetan knotting, it is possible to observe a difference between the number of yarns appearing on the front-side knot collars and the nodules on the back of the piece. I.e. if three yarns are used together for the knotting unit, there would be three yarns visible in each front-side nodule, but six yarns in each of the back-side nodules. If the working unit consists of two yarns, there will be two visible in the front nodules, and four in each of the back nodules. There are twice as many on the back because the knots overlap on the back side. In other words, each warp is crossed just once on the front by the working unit, but is crossed twice on the back.

3. Because four warps are used with each knot, color changes along a vertical direction must be handled with a separate, different kind of knot on just two of the warps if the design edge is to be sharp. Otherwise, a ragged design edge occurs. This is ONE feature that can sometimes be identified in photos. This Tibetan knotting irregularity indeed does occur in the subject piece on this thread—the “Tiger” saddle rug. This is the feature that Marvin and Rich presumably noticed in coming to their correct conclusions about the origins of the rug.

Since these features occur only with Tibetan knotting, their presence positively confirms that the piece was constructed with Tibetan knotting. Again: No guess-work is necessary.

I have noted these structural features because I believe it is necessary that on the Turkotek board we NOT let misinformation stand uncorrected. I believe most Turkotek participants are serious about the subject and want the integrity of this board maintained. I remind you all that the person who began this thread started by asking for information on how the particular piece “was made” and indeed even asked for opinions on whether or not it was “handmade.”


PS. The frequent “anomalies” in Chinese rugs are entirely different from those in Tibetan knotting. Both must be observed very closely to be of use in making attributions.
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