The highland of Tibet is the actual home of the so-called Nepal carpets. When Tibet was declared Autonomic Territory of the Peoples Republic of China in 1959, not only their worldly leader, the Dalai Lama, but also many Tibetans fled the country to the neighbouring countries across the borders.
At that time the International Red Cross and the Swiss government started an aid programme, allowing Tibetan refugees to do in their new home what they had done in Nepal - knotting carpets. That was the start of the carpet production in the Kingdom of Nepal. At the beginning the designs and colours of the old originals had to be adapted to contemporary tastes. The sparing design and the colouring in pastel shades met the taste of the customers. Young people were noticeably enthusiastic about this modern style Oriental carpet.
New designer collections continued to come out. Customer designed patterns were converted with the help of computers and then produced. With the use of silk, new textures were created. Numerous catalogues were published, giving the Nepal an exceptional popularity.
That the robust quality remained unchanged can be accorded, last but not least, to the use of excellent materials. The Tibetans swear by the wool of their mountain sheep, which in some cases are home bred. The exceptionally resilient, lustrous wool, mostly hand spun, is basis for the success of this carpet.
The Tibetans have developed their own system in knotting. The work is done on vertical looms. Into the cotton warp the weft thread is slung over a shed stick of 5mm thickness. When the entire knotted row is finished, the loops are cut open and form a bristle like pile. Due to this procedure productivity is increased, and the loss of material is minimized.
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