Making a wool or felt rug

Here’s some info about our process in India. We work directly with artisans. This process ensures that the level of craftsmanship is high. We also provide local jobs.

making-wool-felt-rug-sukhi-india

So what is so special about wool?

It has natural properties. Truly, these properties are extraordinary. It’s springy and resilient. It’s even flame resistant. That means instead of burning, wool smolders.

There are other things that make wool amazing. It easily binds into yarn that can be spun. It also takes dye well so we can offer beautiful colors. And there is more. Wool has fantastic for insulating. It keeps our customers nice and warm. It’s soft and comfortable. People love touching wool.

It’s also flexible and durable. It even resists static electricity. It is no wonder that wool has been used for centuries. It has been felted and woven into countless rugs.

Sukhi offers 4 different handmade collections from India:

1. Cut felt rugs

How do we make our cut felt rugs? First, thousands of design motifs are cut using cutting tools. We use 100% felted wool.

One by one, cut out motifs are placed on a weave. The weaver starts at one end. Motifs are tied around warp threads and a metal rod. They are pulled tight. Then the process is repeated over and over. Finally, a series of cut felts has been created.

Each cut felt rug has at least 3,000 to 4,000 motifs! The amount of work that goes into these rugs is simply incredible.

cut-felt-rugs

2. Felted woolen yarn rugs

Our felted woolen yarn rugs are made by pot dyeing. This means adding color the old fashioned way. There is something splendidly old-world and traditional about this process. Plus, there are a huge variety of colors. Many of these recent colors are completely new to these rugs.

The dyeing process

Pot dyeing requires very little machinery. Skeins of yarn are attached to hand-wound metal loops. These are rotated. Then they are dipped into the yarns over and over until they are soaked.

After dyeing, we dry the yarn. Sometimes it is put in a drying chamber. But the finish ends up superior when we do it naturally.

Your final felted woolen yarn rug

The dry yarn is then taken into the weaving room. The final effect has plenty of depth. This is due to the fact that felt takes about half the dye.

You’ll end up with a rug that is dense. But it’s also extremely soft and pleasant under your feet.

felted-woolen-yarn-rugs

3. Stone rugs

What is a stone rug? Indian artisans gently roll wet wool into stone shaped balls. These balls are around the soapy surface. It’s an interesting process. They continue to roll and rinse. Then the stone rug starts to shrink and take shape.

The next step is they put the wool in cold water. They rinse it. It’s an intensive treatment. And it’s repeated several times. Finally, there are enough beautiful stone shapes. Together these shapes ultimately make a work of art.

The stone shapes are gently dried in the sun. They are then ready for the final step. They are carefully sewed together on a woolen surface.

stone-rugs

4. Woolen loop rugs

Woolen loop rugs preserve precious lanolin*. First the raw New Zealand wool is washed and dried. Then carders and spinners turn up to collect it.

The wool is carefully weighed into bundles. It takes a full week to turn 2 kilos of raw stuff into yarn. (We call the wool yarn once it’s prepared to be weaved.) Carders retain every bit of excess fluff and thorn. Fluff and thorn comes from the rough wool. And this ensures nothing is missing.

So what ensures the longest fibers that are ideal for yarn? We’ve found that hand carding does the trick. When fibers are of different lengths this makes the final thread stronger.

woolen-loop-rugs

Hand carding adds strength and softness

You can easily see the difference between carding wool by hand or by machine. When wool is hand carded, it is less even. It seems much more natural. It also feels wonderful. That’s because it has a high level of lanolin. This lanolin makes it softer.

Enjoy more warmth through hand spinning

Hand spinning turns wool into woolen loops. It happens little by little. The flossy, carded wool is fed into the handmade spinning wheel. In it goes! The wool gets spun or twisted into long unbroken pieces of yarn. This high quality yarn is wound on a spool. When you add more wool, it makes the yarn thicker.

Then the yarn can be woven into a woolen loop rug. For a loop pile, the yarn is pulled out and left uncut - thus a series of loops is achieved.

Our process is meticulous, no doubt. But this makes all the difference. Our Sukhi woolen loop rugs last forever. They are soft, comfy and perfect for all your cold nights.

Lanolin*

Why do we love Lanolin? It is a natural stain barrier. Lanolin helps the wool to stay soft and supple. Our artisans also work with lanolin. But hand processing is much more time-consuming, labor-intensive and expensive. But the benefits to the wool and rugs are worth it!