Karnor was founded in 1991 by Tashi and Kunchok Sangpo in the midst of the Tibetan carpet boom in Nepal. Tashi brought with him extensive knowledge and training in traditional Tibetan art and design, and Kunchok Sangpo’s expertise in Tibetan highland wool and textiles. Shortly after, Penpa Sonam and Nekyab joined and play a critical role in continuing to drive the company forward.
27 years later, Karnor remains a competitive producer of the finest bespoke Tibetan rugs, serving clients across the world in the US, Canada, Europe, Nepal, Tibet, and Australia.
Ethics, Philosophy and Mission
Our motto is ‘Positivity and Productivity’, and we ensure that our staff have competitive salaries and provide weavers’ children with free elementary education and daycare. We strive to ensure that weavers and staff work in the best environments in terms of workplace standards.
Karnor is also a proud member of LabelStep® and will always strive to implement the best practices for employees in our industry.
Tibetan rug making is an ancient, traditional craft. Tibetan rugs are traditionally made from Tibetan highland sheep's wool, called changpel. Tibetans use rugs for many purposes ranging from flooring to wall hanging to horse saddles, though the most common use is as a seating carpet. A typical sleeping carpet measuring around 3ft x 5ft (0.9m x 1.6m) is called a khaden.
The process of making Tibetan rugs is unique in the sense that the knotting method is different from that used in other rug-making traditions worldwide. With the introduction of modern technology some aspects of the rug-making processes have been taken over by machine in many workshops, in particular yarn spinning and trimming of the pile after weaving. This is primarily because of cost, disappearance of knowledge etc. Nevertheless, the finest carpets are those still made in the traditional way, by hand.
In the 1950s, there was a major influx of Tibetan refugees to India and Nepal following the Tibet’s occupation by China. With them they also brought their knowledge of rug making. Today, rug business is one of the largest industries in Nepal and one of the major exporters in the country. Tibet also has weaving workshops, but the export side of the industry is relatively undeveloped compared with Nepal and India.