Kashmir carpets are world renowned for two things- they are hand made and they are always knotted, never tufted. It is extremely instructive to watch a kashmir carpet being made- your dealer can probably arrange it for you. Stretched tightly on a frame is the warp of Kashmir Carpet. The weft threads are passed through, the ‘talim’ or design and color specifications are then worked out on this: a strand of yarn is looped through the warp & weft, knotted and then cut. The yarn used normally is silk, wool or silk and wool. Woolen carpets always have a cotton base (Warp & Weft).
Silk usually have cotton base. Sometimes however, the base is also silk in which case you will see that the fringe is silk; the cost increases proportionately. Occasionally, carpets are made on a cotton base, mainly of woolen pile with silk yarn used as highlights on certain motifs.
A carpet with a pure silk pile may be referred to as an 80% silk carpet. Carpet weaving in Kashmirwas not originally indigenous but is thought to have come in by way of Persia. Atypical Kashmiri design is the tree of life. Persian design not withstanding, any carpet woven in Kashmir is referred to as Kashmiri. The color-way of Carpet, and its details differentiate it from any other carpet. And while on the subject of colors, it should be kept in mind that although the colors of Kashmiri carpets are more subtle and muted than elsewhere in the country, only chemical dyes
Hand silk carpets of Kashmir are the specialties. They are those carpets, which are created on a silk pile and the silk carpets are also created on a cotton or woolen pile. Generally silk carpets are made up of 80% of silk yarn and 20% of cotton yarn, having more than 400 knots per square inch. 100% pure silk carpets have very high knots per inch. The knots per square inch of such carpet can vary between 400-1600 knots per square inch. The knotting of the carpet is the most important aspect, determining its durability and value, in addition to its design. Basically, the more knots per square inch, the greater its value and durability. The carpet craftsmen in Kashmir follow the traditional Persian or Islamic designs of Kirman, Kashan, and Esfahan, Herat and so on to weave theirinnovative carpets. Though there is a strong Persian influence in Kashmiri carpets, however one can also see local variations.