The art of weaving:
Carpet weaving in Nepal was originally started by the Tibetan refugees, in the sixties. Infact, it was the Swiss who encouraged the Tibetans to start this art of weaving into a trade, the rest is history. The carpet trade has come a long way since then, now this is the largest exported product of Nepal.
The basic process of production is the same as the one used by the Tibetans for centuries. Sheep's wool is the most commonly used fiber for Oriental rugs and carpets. Nepalese manufacturers use wool imported from Tibet and New Zealand.
Firstly, the raw wool is washed. After washing, the wool is sorted out accordingly. Then the sorted wool is blended with the imported wool. The blending ratio differs from company to company. The blending is done either manually or by machine (Carding).
After carding, the wool is sent for spinning into yarn, the thickness depending upon the quality of the carpet desired. The yarn is then dyed in a variety of colors using either vegetable dyes or modern chemical dyes. BON's weaving centers use standard chemical dyes so the colors are always even and color fast.
The Tibetan carpets are woven on a vertical loom. The loom may be of wood or iron. The basic foundation of all Oriental rugs is the warp, which can be of cotton or wool. BON uses cotton warp to maintain uniform tension on the loom keeping our rugs straight when they are completed. Warps run the entire length of the rug and make up the fringe or selvage at the ends.
The BON Rugs / carpet are woven in a Tibetan knotting system i.e. the woolen yarn is tied with the two warp threads at different positions with the help of a weaving rod. This process is continued breadth wise from left to right. The weaver's pound down the weaving rod. The cotton weft is then inserted in between the warp thread alternatively, and the woolen yarn around the iron rod is cut with the pile-cutting blade and thus the woolen pile is formed. In this way, the whole length of the carpet is woven in the due course of time.
After the carpet is completed and removed from the loom, it is clipped and the designs are cut in physical relief according to the buyer's demands. Carpets are sometimes washed in Nepal, where chemical hand washing is now available, but some carpets are exported unwashed.