There are a few things you need to consider
before you go looking for a rug. How big? How many knots (thickness)?
What colour and how much do you want to spend?
Remember with rugs, like anything, you get what you pay for.
Mass-produced rugs are usually made from cheap, synthetic materials,
which stain more readily and wear out sooner. Carpet making
is one of the few crafts where hand-made beats machine manufactured
The Tibetan rug makers have spent many centuries perfecting
their craft using the coarse but soft wool fibres of mountain
sheep, goats and yaks.
Choosing size: a
good trick is to measure out the size using newspapers so
that you can visualise how big (or small) a rug looks in
position. Bigger is usually better when it comes to rugs – you’ll
have it for generations so go for something that you can really
enjoy and stretch out on. Leaving some surrounding area uncovered
esp timber flooring not only displays your timber, slate, tiles,
etc but it accentuates the rug, much the same as the frame
chosen for a nice painting.
many knots: The amount of knots per inch describes
the thickness of the wool used in making the carpet. Each
pair of threads is looped through a cotton base mat – the
warp - then hand tied. Once the carpet is complete all the
threads are trimmed by hand. Thicker wool means the rug sits
more heavilyon the floor and is thicker – the trade
off is that with fewer knots per inch designs are less detailed.
The 100 knot rugs have more elaborate and detailed designs,
are more lightweight and more likely to be used as wall hangings.
Our rugs come in three knot densities: 60 knots per inch,
80 and 100 which result in rugs 15mm, 12mm and 10mm thick
What colour: Surprisingly,
it’s easier than you think to find the right rug for
you. There may seem too many to choose from in varying colours
and patterns - from complex, traditional patterns to simple
contemporary styles to fit the most modern décor. Tell
Paul about your current or planned colour schemes, furnishings
and settings and he can display for you various options. Some
you may not have initially considered!
Complex, traditional rugs will fit in almost anywhere because
they have a wide range of colours to complement almost any
surrounding – it is almost impossible to find one that
doesn’t look good. Rugs that have a predominant colour
can be matched with a colour within your room. Most of our
contemporary rugs have colours that fit in well to today’s
colour palettes like terracottas, blues and greys. These work
well as complementary colours and as contrast colours. Your
new rug will outlast you current décor so it’s
good to know it will always fit in.
How much do you spend: Tibetan
rugs have the reputation for being expensive, boutique items
only available in specialty shops and galleries. Actually the
remote location of the Tibetan craftsmen means that a carpet
has to travel through the hands of many traders before reaching
the west – amazingly the actual craftsmen receive just
a small proportion of the final sale price. We import directly
from two Tibetan refugee camps located south of the Tibetan
border in Nepal and we pay the craftsmen fair prices for their
rugs. We only mark up the rugs once to cover business and transport
costs and then sell them directly to the public. You’ll
pay about the same for your hand-made rug as you would for
a mass manufactured rug from a large western factory. See our
price list for a guide.
Buying a rug from this website: It’s
hard to visualise a rug without seeing it in position. It’s
even harder to make a choice when all you have to go on is
a picture. What you don’t see on this site is the quality,
character and depth of colour of each rug. Each one is different
and each one has something of the craftsman who made it. An
average 2 square metre rug takes 45 days to weave. Additional
to the weaving is the carding, spinning, dyeing, trimming,
washing and fumigation all of which occurs within the Tibetan
It’s a risk when you buy something sight unseen that’s true – but
we’ve sold many rugs to people in America, Europe and Asia and have not
had one returned.
Every rug sold through Rugs of Tibet
helps Tibetans live with independence and dignity. It helps
them support their families, educate their children and plan
for a future. You can help support them by purchasing from ‘Rugs
Our Fair trade Policy
Many corporations see the entire world experience only in
terms of supply and demand, profit and loss. Their world operates
in terms of productivity and shareholder value with little
interest in the most important aspects of humanity. Many of
these western businesses take advantage of third and developing
world desperation by using populations all over Asia as cheap
labour. Such corporations make decisions based on profits and
growth. Poverty, desperation, disease, lack of education, exhaustion
and pain, ill health, emotional and physical torture are concepts
that do not appear on a balance sheet - yet they are part of
everyday life in countless sweatshops all across Asia.
You can make a difference – open your eyes before you
open your wallet.
When you buy one of our rugs you can be sure that the person
who made it is getting paid a fair price – a price that
respects their skill, hard work and dignity. That is our promise.
Paul endeavours to visit the Tibetan refugee camps in Kathmandu
and Pokhara each year to assess for himself the camp conditions
and the political situation in Nepal as it is rarely reported
in our local press. He also has a personal association with
the families he supports and likes to their well being. This
year he was able to witness first hand the democratic voting
for local Tibetan representation within their exiled community.