End Finishes Project       Woven Structures Update


Knotted Meshwork

It is easiest of all to finish warps simply with overhand knots. A common solution in modern commercial production, this is not among the best of end finishes, as neither warps nor wefts are given more than minimal protection.

Meshwork made with additional offset rows of overhand knots provides more security and is decorative as well. Knots can be tied with either large or small groups of warps--the knots either closely set or widely separated.  Alternately, square knots may be used for the meshwork, as in macramé.

Knotted meshwork has often been combined with rows of soumak wrapping--particularly on Caucasian rugs.   
Kuba Knotted-Pile Rug. Caucasus
47" x 64" (185 cm x 64 cm)

STRUCTURE:  Symmetrical knots; H: 7, V: 11, 77  per square inch (H: 28, V: 43, 1204 per square dm). Slight warp depression.
WARP:  3-ply ivory wool.
WEFT:  Tan/brown wool plied with white cotton; 2 shots between knotted rows.
PILE:  2 wool singles.
ATTACHED SELVAGES:  3 free-floating warp units (3,2,1), interlaced with 3-ply faded blue cotton that extends 2 warp pairs into the knotted foundation.

END FINISHES:  Knotted meshwork with 3 rows of offset overhand knots.  Three rows of soumak (2/1), countered, light blue cotton. 
[MM-107.  M. Mallett]

Knotted meshwork makes a fragile but decorative end finish on this Kuba rug. (Front)

Three rows of blue cotton soumak wrapping and a couple of plain-weave picks separate the meshwork and knotted pile.  Compare the front with the back side below:  the front of the soumak has diagonal spans, the back has short wrappings.  Twining, which is often used as part of an end finish, looks the same on both sides, and is often done with two contrasting colors.  The two structures should not be confused.

Northeast Caucasian Knotted-Pile Rug
5' x 8'
(152 cm x 245 cm). Dated 1914. Cyrillic inscription.

STRUCTURE:  Symmetrical knots, H: 29/dm, V: 44/dm, 1276 knots per sq. dm. (82 per square inch). No warp depression.
WARP:  2-ply ivory wool.
WEFT:  Two 2-ply ivory or mixed ivory and brown wool yarns; one shot.
PILE:  2 wool singles.
ATTACHED SELVAGES:  3 warp units (2,2,1), the outer pair free floating, the inner pair irregularly interlaced by the ground wefts, and one warp integral with the ground weave. 2-ply blue wool selvage yarns extend erratically into the pile area and interlace the first two ground warps. 

END FINISHES:  5 rows of soumak, countered (4 blue and 1 white); meshwork of staggered overhand knots.
[FB-103.  Filiberto Boncompagni]

Rows of countered soumak in blue and white wool finish this rug, then groups of warps are knotted in a loose meshwork.   
Kurdish Knotted-Pile Rug. Western Iran
45"x 93" (177 cm x 366 cm)

STRUCTURE:  Symmetrical knots, H: 7, V: 11, 77 knots per square inch. No warp depression.
WARP:  2-ply light tan wool.
WEFT:  2 red wool singles, 2 shots.
PILE:  2 wool singles.
SELVAGES:  Overcast with red wool.

UPPER END FINISH:  Obliquely wrapped band; warp ends finished on the underside with two rows of overhand knots, offset. Balanced plain weave with 2-color, 3-span twining.
LOWER END FINISH:  Twined heading cord, followed by 3-strand twining. Plain-weave band with 2-color, 3-span twining.  See photo on the Heading Cords page.
[MU-100.  Mesut Ulusoy]





The warp ends that emerged on the inside edge
of an obliquely wrapped band have been finished
with two rows of  offset overhand knots on this
Kurdish rug.  Back view. 
With the wrapped band folded upward, we can
see part of the simple knotted meshwork

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