Quality/ Knot count: The knots count refers to the specified number of knots per square inch. The number of knots per square inch usually ranges from 60 knots to 120 knots per square inch. Generally, the higher the number of knots per square inch the higher the quality of the rug. Tibetan rugs are usually made in either 80 knots or 100 knots quality.
Loop vs. Cut: Loop and cut refers to the outlook of the yarn on the rug. When the rug is woven, the yarn is knotted around a metal rod. This yarn is then cut on the top to expose the inner strands o f the yarn. Typically all yarn in the rugs is cut but occasionally this can also be left uncut or looped giving a different outlook of the rug. This is primarily to create a different aesthetic and to create unique patterns.
Pile height: Pile height refers to the height of the rug. Typically Tibetan rugs are 4 mm high but can be woven to much higher pile heights. Although lower pile heights work ideally, different pile heights can be used in the same rug to create a more multi-dimensional effect. Higher pile heights create softer rugs and can have a luxurious appeal.
Finishing: Traditionally Tibetan rugs have always had fringes in their rugs. However, with modern style Tibetan rugs, the fringes are usually cut and bound or folded and hidden to give a neater and modern look.
Textiles: The textiles used for Tibetan rugs are usually Tibetan wool with the fine Chinese Silk. However, increasingly we are finding many uses of a variety of natural fibres like hemp, nettle, mohair and cactus.
Tibetan wool: This wool is sheared from sheep in the high altitudes of Tibet. Tibetan wool is soft and of very high quality. Tibetan wool is naturally rich in lanolin which not only acts as a natural Scotchgard but allows the rugs to age gracefully and lustrously.
Silk: The silk used is Chinese silk which has been renowned for their fine quality for centuries. With such high quality rugs, fine Chinese silk is a perfect complement to Tibetan rugs, a feature in rug luxury.
Hemp: Hemp is a soft and durable fibre spun from the stem of the plant known as Cannabis genus. Hemp has been used a premium plant fibre for centuries and is a native plant in the Himalayan region. Well used for it strength and durability, hemp is also a natural fibre with great insulation properties.
Nettle: The Himalayan nettle or allo (as it is locally known) produces some of the longest fibres found in plants. Nettle which is a native of Nepal it is also consumed as a traditional medicine with nutritional properties. As a soft and durable fibre it is a great option amongst natural fibres.
Viscose: Viscose, also known as art silk, is created from a combination of man-made components. With a very similar look to silk, it is a less-expensive option while providing shiny look similar to that of silk.
Mohair: Mohair refers to the silk-like fabric spun from the fur of Angora goat. With excellent insulating properties Mohair is a durable and resilient fabric. Noted for its high luster and sheen, Mohair is considered the ultimate in luxury rugs.
Cactus: Cactus is a member of the Cactaceae plant family that grows primarily in the warmer plains of Nepal. Known for its resilience and durability, Cactus is new natural fibre being used in Tibetan rugs as an environmentally friendly option.