"Tops" ~ Ancient traditions meets the modern world with our
extraordinary collection of authentic hand-knotted fair-trade Tibetan Wool Rugs
Since the Chinese invasion of Tibet, the highest quality Tibetan rugs
currently being manufactured are those produced in Nepal by Tibetan refugees.
Tibetan rugs originating in India and other parts of the world utilize wool of a
lesser quality and are inferior to those produced in Nepal. By purchasing
fair-trade Tibetan rugs made by Tibetan refugees supports the lives of these
displaced peoples. The rich color and history of Tibet are woven into each of
our hand-knotted rugs. The result is a stunning collection of versatile and
vibrant area rugs that will bring an essence of warmth and spirit into any room.
How are the rugs made?
First, raw wool is brought into Nepal from Tibet. Tibetan sheep
live at high altitudes in extreme conditions and are known for producing some of
the finest (lanolin-rich, strongly-fibered) wool in the world. In Nepal, the
wool is hand-carded, washed and hand-spun. Hand-carding and spinning is much
more expensive and time consuming than machine processes but achieves two
important results: First, it breaks down less fibers of the wool to create
stronger, longer-wearing wool. Second, its irregular diameter creates a more
desirable, interesting texture in the final weave. The wool is then pot-dyed
with standard colorfast dyes and then hand-knotted on looms with a cotton warp.
Next, the rugs must be hand-clipped and carved. The final step is to wash and
block the rugs. The washing and blocking is a lengthy process. To put it in
perspective, a 4 x 6 rug requires approximately 250 person-hours to produce.
In addition, the hand-knotting process enables us to produce a much denser pile
than the finest quality machine-made rug. The rug will wear longer, be much more
soil- and stain-resistant, and, once soiled, will clean up better than any
machine-made counterparts. The hand-knotting process combined with the superb
quality of the wool produces a rug that, under normal circumstances, will last
for generations. One final note. Throughout the whole rug making process,
special attention is given to both ensuring healthy working conditions for all
as well as protecting the physical environment. For example, during the dying
and washing process all the water used is filtered so the water leaving the
building is actually cleaner than the water entering the building.
More on authentic Tibetan Rugs:
In 1959, the Chinese invasion of Tibet forced Tibetans to migrate by the
thousands through the Himalayan mountains in search of a new home. Of those that
survived the grueling trek, many settled in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal where
they built a cottage industry of carpet weaving based on centuries-old tradition
and technique. Initially, small rugs were produced. Eventually, however, carpet
production rose to one of Nepal's leading industries.
for ReSurge International:
Since 1969, ReSurge International (formerly know as Interplast) medical
volunteers have provided free reconstructive surgery for children born with
cleft lips/palates in developing countries throughout the world. Volunteer
medical teams of plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and pediatricians
perform 3,000 surgeries annually. ReSurge International now has a major presence
in Nepal. As part of that effort, a portion of the profits made from these rugs
have helped pay for speech therapy clinic in 1999 to assist cleft palate
patients with their rehabilitation.
Because these rugs are hand-knotted, each piece will vary from the next. Sizes
will not be exact, circles will not be perfectly round, borders will not be
perfectly straight, and colors may vary slightly from rug to rug and from the
screen image color you see. In this day of
"cookie cutter" manufacturing, these imperfections become valuable indications
that a product is truly hand-crafted. Hand-crafting means each rug is unique and
Shipping and Handling Charges:
When ordering, additional shipping and handling charges may apply. We will
contact you with these additional charges, and await your approval before
finalizing your order. You may also email or call for a shipping quotation. Be
sure to specify what you wish to order, and please indicate your zip code when
requesting a freight quotation. Generally, allow up to one business day before
we are able to respond to your request. Our email address is
firstname.lastname@example.org, and our
toll-free telephone number is 1-888-51-EARTH (1-888-513-2784).
Returns accepted within 30 days of purchase for a full refund less a 15%
restocking fee, shipping and handling fees and any damages. Please call for
authorization before returning. Returns without authorization will not be
Please allow 1 to 3 weeks for delivery