The art of making rugs the Tibetan style is an ancient art in the Tibetan tradition. There are made from the virgin wool of special types of highland sheep found in Tibet. In Tibet, people use these rugs for almost all types of domestic use ranging from using them as saddle for horses to wall hangings or the most conventional use of them all, which is simply flooring.
The process of making Tibetan rugs is highly unique because mostly everything about them is meticulously handmade. With the advent of Modern technology, machines have taken over a few rug making aspects, mainly, due to cost cutting and the gradually increasing lack of knowledge. A few of the finishing touches can also be made by the machines.
When Chinese communist took over Tibet in the early 1950, refugees from Tibet began migrating to Nepal and India. With it, they also brought the rug making knowledge. In Nepal, the business of rug making is a booming industry and one can find several rug exporters there.
In most of traditional Tibetan arts, the influence of Indian culture that was transferred to Tibet with Buddhism is evident. However, the art of rug making was brought to Tibet from China. The designs are a proof of this fact. There are several Tibetan rugs that bear a close resemblance to Chinese rugs but plenty others that betray the concept of Tibet, have also been found.
But most rugs that one finds exhibit a blend of Tibetan style with Chinese patterns. Tibetan rugs are essentially Chinese rugs with a difference. In color, Tibetans prefer bright, enthusiastic colors. Even the simplest of Tibetan furniture and humblest household utensils are lively and the least ugly.
Different Types of Tibetan Rugs
Nowadays, one can find these rugs in a range of several materials. There are wool and silk blends rugs, rugs of Hemp and rugs made from fibers of Banana. There are many exporters who make custom rugs for Interior designers, rug dealers, architects, design firms and other aspiring designers and artists. Various designs of these rugs to choose from are now at one’s disposal. Most rug makers have their own line of designs.
The prices of these rugs are based on the quality of the wool used in making them, in addition to the design, luster, longevity, feel and durability of the rug. These days, New Zealand wool is increasingly being used for making these rugs, since it can observe dye for rich colors easily.
For eco friendly people, there is an option of vegetable dyes that are used in place of chemicals also available in the market.
Traditionally, Tibetans used natural resources for obtaining dyes. The indigo obtained from India was used to obtain blue color, for red madder, they used lac, which was brought from Bhutan, for yellow, indigo was mixed with green, which was also got from rhubarb a plant abundantly found on the hills of Tibet and for browns alpine valley walnuts were used.
Until aniline dyes were invented, these natural dyes were used to knot the prettiest of Tibetan rugs that mankind ever came across.
By the way there is a popular Tibetan rug company called Vermont Tibetan Rug which you might want to buy from.