Needless to say, sheep wool is one of the basic elements in the carpet industry; it is usually used to weave the pile of a carpet. Many years ago some of the Hamedan and Baluch rugs were woven with camel wool.
Iranian sheep have thick wool and more than 60-70% of the wool is the hetro type species. Due to this fact, it is a very suitable material for carpets as the warp is thick, coarse and strong. The quality of wool obtained from sheep raised in mild and mountainous areas is much better than that from sheep that are pastured in humid and tow-lying grazing land. Moreover, the quality of wool sheared from sheep in the spring is always better than that sheared in the autumn.
Sheep’s wool contains many external substances and these should be carefully separated before spinning. These substances consist of the fat in the wool (lanolin), the sweat and the urine. The dried wool also contains potassium and sodium salts, water and ointments applied to the body of the animal to heal its wounds. To remove these substances, it is necessary to completely wash the wool.. Then the water is thoroughly wrung out and the wool is spread on a clean area to dry. This operation can be carried out manually or at wool-washing factories that are equipped with mechanical apparatus. After the drying process, the spun and skinned wool is dyed in the preferred colours at the special dyeing factories. The spinning can be accomplished either by hand or by machinery.
In the latter case, the large quantity of wool is uniformly spun and twisted. Hand-spun wool is mostly used in the villages and in the quarters of the tribal carpet weavers
The term refers to the soft wool that grows close to the skin of sheep, goats and camels.A comb is used to extract this fine wool which clings to the teeth of the comb. It is one of the principal elements from which fine and fairly expensive rugs are made.
Cotton fibre has an important role in the carpet weaving industry and it has seen increased use for weaving the warp and weft of the carpet.Moths are not attracted to cotton, if the warp and weft of carpets are made of cotton; they only damage the pile without causing any holes.It is much easier to create a new layer of pile on the lattice of the warp and weft that has been left intact. Cotton fibre is not good for making the pile of a rug; instead due to its strength and inflexibility it is suitable for making the warp and weft.
Produced by the larva of a species of moth commonly called the silkworm, silk has been successfully cultivated in Iran. The finest silk for rug making traditionally comes from an area around the Caspian Sea. This region produces a type referred to as Rasht Silk, which is regarded as the best in the world.
Because of the high price of the raw material, the production of silk rugs has sharply decreased. Silk fibres can also be used to make the warp, weft and the pile of a carpet. When compared with wool fibres of equal diameter, they are much stronger. Generally speaking, of the 100% weight of the carpet nearly 16-20% is the warp, another 10-18% the weft and the balance, 50-70% is the weight of the pile of the carpet.