Manufacturing

All Sonya Winner rugs are handmade, which adds another layer of beauty to the final product and means that no piece is ever identical to another. Our pieces are either tufted or knotted, in best quality Pure New Zealand Wool, pure Chinese silk, or a mixture of wool and silk.

Dyeing and Spinning

The yarns used for a Sonya Winner rug have been twisted in a particular and unique way, giving our rugs their exceptional colour and shine.

First the yarn is sorted by hand and then washed and dried removing impurities. It is then carded and spun using a hand wheel, after which it is ready to be transformed into the colours of our designs.

The dye master prepares the Swiss dye pigments, which are extremely high quality and completely free from Azo-based compounds, so are kind to the human skin. These dyes produce the vibrant colours we like to use and, unlike vegetable dyes, are fade resistant so long as they are not placed in direct sunlight. The yarn is dyed in small batches (pot dyed) and dried in the sun and then spooled into balls ready to be woven.

The Weaving Plan

For knotted rugs – a weaving plan in the form of a graph is created, translating the original design made as a collage, sketch or painting, into comprehensive visual instructions for the weavers to follow.

For tufted rugs – a plan of the design is accurately drawn onto the back of the canvas, indicating the areas of colours and the tuft height, as the tufting tool needs to be adjusted accordingly, in order to achieve different tuft heights.

Hand Knotting / Weaving

A loom is made ready for weaving by preparing vertically warped cotton threads that provide the base over which the carpet is woven. The length of the warp is adjusted to the length of the carpet and the weavers create knots around the cotton threads/warp.

Hand knotting is typically done at 100 knots per inch and each day 1 weaver will weave 10cm on a 1m stretch of the loom – so a 2m rug will have 2 people working on it, while a 3m rug requires 3 weavers. An easy way to verify if a rug is knotted is to check its reverse side where, if that is the case, all the knotted stitches will be visible.

Hand Tufting

This is a quicker method of rug production by hand and more often used for the creation of contemporary designs.

A hand held tufting tool is loaded with yarn and the weaver punches strands of wool into a canvas stretched onto a frame. Once the design is completely tufted a jute backing is attached to it by adhesive. The easiest way to distinguish this method of production is again, by checking the back side of the rug – all hand tufted rugs will have a canvas backing.

Hand Carving

After a knotted or tufted rug has been woven the front-side of the rug is perfected using giant scissors to adjust the tuft height to that specified in the design. The design is also accentuated by carving with scissors by expert hands.

This way, all sequences of the rug gain a distinctive dimension and depth, each unique on its own and complete as part of the whole design.

Washing and Drying

The trimmed rugs are washed using Himalayan water to wash off small scrap fibres – a process which enhances the colours and brings out the shine in the fibres.

The rugs are then dried on roof tops in the sun before being stretched to bring them back to the specified size. Stretching also removes the shrinkage and twisting from the washing and drying  stages and helps straighten the corners.

The Finished Piece

A finished Sonya Winner rug is a sensory and stimulating art creation!

Sonya Winner rugs are a quality and practical addition to your home that is the result of a complex and skilled creative and manufacturing process that keeps the skills of weaving alive and supports rural communities. Each piece has its unique place within a cohesive collection that expresses Sonya’s artistic vision, conceptual depth, her passion and skill for colour exploration and her ability to turn a space into a home.

The rugs are shipped from our weavers to our London showroom for a final finishing, from which they are shipped to our clients internationally.

View the collections.