Wool carpets can be recycled at the end of their useful life in a number of interesting ways. Wool carpets are naturally durable so they can be re-formed and re-used as decorative area rugs. Wool pile from old carpets, along with waste wool from the manufacturing process, can be used in environmentally-friendly insulation products. Discarded wool carpet can be cut into strips and used to protect newly planted trees and to prevent erosion and soil loss. The slow breakdown of wool provides rich nutrients and mulch to nourish the saplings and promote faster growth.
The weavers sit at the loom with the balls of the individually dyed wool hanging overhead. Generally, a room size rug will have about three weavers sitting on the loom. With graph by their side, the weavers begin to pull down the wool from above and tie it around the foundation. They weave from left to right and after each piece of wool is hand tied, they clip it and move to the next. After several rows of knot tying, the weavers pack down the wool with a metal tool in the shape of a curved brush. This packing does two things: first, it assures the weavers that the knots are tight against each other and secondly, since the tool is curved at an angle, this gives the pile of the rug an angle. The result of this can be seen when the rug is complete: there is a dark and a light side to the rug. When looking at the tips of the wool, we see the dark side and the back of the wool is the light side of the rug. It is a similar idea to velvet. Once the weavers are finished weaving a rug, they have an extension of the foundation on top and at the bottom of the loom. This is where they cut and take the rug down. The result of where they cut is what determines the length of the fringe, since the fringe is actually a part of the rug.
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