process flow of silk carpet
1. Make design and match colors
Draw design on a chart and match the different colors on it so that the weavers can follow. This is a creative work. The artisans must have a blue print in their mind. Actually the finished carpet is the representation of the design. To some extent, this is the first important thing because it can determine the value of the carpet.
2. Prepare the material
Reel off the raw silk fiber from the cocoons. One third of the silk from the cocoons can be used to weave silk carpets. Then bind the silk fiber into silk strands. Put the silk strands into boiling alkaline water for 30-40 minutes to make it soft and later rinse the alkali and impurities by clean water.Traditionally use natural pigments (indigo, saffron crocus, acorn cup, and larkspur stem...) to dye the yarns into different colors.But now we use also chemical dye. Generally speaking, about 30 kinds of colors of silk strands will be used when weaving carpets.
3. Hang the warp
Warps will be fixed on the loom rack, which is almost like a standing frame consisting of 4 bars. The warps will be looped tightly between the top bar and the bottom one. Heddles will be bound between another horizontal bar and warps. After the foundation is woven by plain silk thread the carpet knotting will start.
4. How to knot silk carpet
The silk yarns will be clasped around the warps by either the Turkish Ghiordes knots (Double knots) or by the Persian Senneh knots. Then the end of the silk thread will be cut off by knife. When a raw of knots is finished the weft will run through compartment space between front and back warps. With the comb the knots and wefts will be struck hard against the wefts.
Making tassel,shearing carpet and washing carpet
After monthes' or even years' work the whole carpet is finished. It will be cut down from the loom rack. The ends of the warps will be coiled up into beautiful tassels. The carpet will be sheared evenly and washed thoroughly before being sold.
It will take one girl about half a year to make a 2×3ft carpet of 300 lines (90,000knots per square foot), 1.5 years to weave a 2×3ft silk carpet of 500 lines(250,000knots per square foot), two years to knot a 1×1.5 feet silk carpet with 800 lines(640,000knots per square foot) and 3 years to make a 1.2×1.5 feet silk carpet with 1000 lines(1000,000 knots per square foot). The silk thread used to knot top quality carpet is as thin as a hair. When knotting, weavers even need to use magnifier. The work is so harmful to weavers' eyes that they seldom can make the second same piece. So this kind of silk carpet is named "soft gold".
Chinese silk carpets are woven out of the high quality silk, Hand-knotted, with high-density and superb quality, graceful and various in design, harmonious in color matching, shining and smooth in surface, soft yet durable in texture, well proportioned and orderly in pattern. Free from confusion, anti-worm-eaten. Due to these features, Chinese silk carpets are of high artistic value, and good for decorations or collection. In addition the reasonable price, Chinese Silk carpets become one of the best-welcomed carpets in the international market.