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White Knots In Rugs 

You may have heard the term white knots or sprouts to describe a common condition in oriental rugs. What are white knots in rugs, and how to deal with them? 

What Causes White Knots 

Some white knots are not knots but loose-weft threads in the body of the weaving. Over time with use and even cleaning, they can work loose. 

The presence of white knots does not necessarily indicate a poorly made rug. White knots are a natural and common occurrence in hand-woven Oriental rugs; some rugs result in more of them due to their construction methods. Chinese rugs, particularly 1930s art deco Chinese rugs 

Fix White Knots  


White knots are a common occurrence in hand-woven Oriental rugs. These are small, white spots that can be seen in the rug's design and texture. White knots are formed when the weaver ties the yarns during the knotting process, and the ends of the knots are left exposed instead of being trimmed off.

There are a few reasons why white knots may appear in Oriental rugs. One reason is that they can result from the natural characteristics of the wool used in the rug. When wool is sheared from a sheep, it can sometimes contain short fibers that are difficult to work with and can create white knots in the finished rug.


There are a variety of fixes for white knots; in the case of loose weft threads, they can be cut out of a rug. However, many white knots are part of the carpet's structural foundation; cutting these will damage and weaken the carpet.

 Another option, as shown in the photo, is to color the white knots to match the dyed yarn in the carpet. This is a short-term fix; the colors often fade and must be reapplied after cleaning or overtime. 

Does Cleaning Cause White Knots 

White knots are an inherent issue, and cleaning does not cause them. However, the latent issue combined with agitation during the cleaning process can cause more white knots to work on the carpet's surface. 

Additionally, the cleaning process removes soil so existing white knots look brighter and more noticeable after cleaning 

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