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We are happy to help our walk-in clients also, however, we are often out on area rug deliveries and may not be available if no appointment was made.  

Prescott AZ – What Causes White Knots in Hand Knotted Area Rugs?

At Arizona Oriental, we love it when older hand knotted rugs come into us because they are such a joy to look at.  Each rug has a variety of unique characteristics that tell the rug’s story and serve to show what kind of life the rug has lived.  One characteristic that can be found in virtually every hand knotted rug are white knots, which can be visible on the surface of the rug or hidden down in the pile.  So what are they and where do they come from?

Simply put, white knots are just part of the construction of your hand knotted rug.  The foundation of the rug is created by stretching cotton warp threads (which run vertical through your rug) and weft threads (which run horizontally, from side to side) over a loom.  This foundation is what weavers use to tie the face fibers to.  It is not uncommon for some of these threads to break during the weaving process and require the weaver to tie them back together – the sites of these repairs is what creates the white knots.

Once the repair is made and the threads are tied back together, weaving can continue and white knots get sandwiched between the rug’s face fibers and thus hidden.  Through time and use, the rug pile is worn down, which makes the white knots become more visible.  Again, this is just a natural part of your hand knotted rug’s aging process and adds a great amount of character, beauty, and history to you rug.  I’ve sometimes heard these white knots referred to as “rug freckles.”

Often the white knots are masked by soil, so they won’t stand out much and won’t be noticeable until after your rug is professionally cleaned by a service like Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care in Prescott AZ.  Cleaning removes the soil that has built up over the years and suddenly the knots are more noticeable.

At Arizona Oriental, we always remind our clients to NEVER CUT OUT WHITE KNOTS!  By doing so, you create a hole in the foundation of your rug.  This creates a domino effect of unravelling and loss of face fibers, leading to a hole in your beautiful area rug.  Luckily, Arizona Oriental also offers repair options if your rug is in need of a little (or a lot) of T.L.C., so give us a call whether you need repair or a good deep cleaning for your rug!

Till next time, enjoy your beautiful art for your floor and remember a clean rug is a rug that can last you a lifetime!

Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care serves Prescott, Prescott Valley, Sedona, and much of the Northern Arizona areas. We meet the highest standards in professional cleaning of area rugs with rug wash specialists having earned the highest training which includes certification as WOOLSAFE FIBRE CARE SPECIALISTS through the WOOLSAFE ORGANISATION. Such extraordinary certification ensures the area rugs of our client’s receive the utmost in care.

If you would like more information about white knots on hand knotted rugs or a free estimate, give us a call at 928-445-1718, visit our website at, or stop by Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at our rug washing facility at 565 EZ Street, Prescott, AZ 86301 (pick-up and delivery also available). 


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What Causes White Knots in Hand Knotted Area Rugs? - Prescott