How do you tell the difference between hand woven and machine made rugs?
To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to tell the difference.
A hand knotted rug is made on a specially designed loom and are knotted by hand. The size of the rug is determined by the size of the loom. The rug weaver inserts the knots into the backing of the rug and then are tied by hand. This creates the pile of the rug. It is a very tedious and time consuming process. A rug created with intricate details can take months or even years to finish.
Hand knotted rugs can be made from a variety of fabrics, including wool, cotton, silk, jute and other natural materials. Also called Oriental rugs, hand knotted rugs are often of collectible quality, with prices being affected by a variety of things, including knot count, quality of yarn, dye process, etc. While hand knotted rugs typically will cost more, because of the quality they will also have a longer life span, giving you more value for your money.
Machine rugs are made by large mechanical power looms. A power loom is automated and controlled by computers. Machine rugs can be made with all kinds of materials, including wool, synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, acrylic and silk, and can by made quickly and efficiently.
Machine rugs can simulate the look and feel of a hand knotted rug. However, machine rugs usually have a life span of about 20 years or less depending on its construction. Machine rugs, in general will not have any value to a collector, though certain brands such as Karastan do have a loyal following.
One of the best ways to tell the difference between a hand knotted and machine made rug is to look at the back of the rug. With a hand knotted rug, the weaving and the knots will be slightly uneven and not perfectly uniform. A machine rug will have a uniform look and perfectly straight rows. The more detail you can see in the design from the back of the rug, the higher the quality of the rug.
Another way to determine the difference is to look at the fringe. The fringe of a hand knotted rug is an extension of the rug foundation. With a machine rug, the fringe is sewn on and attached as a finishing touch.
Have additional questions about rug quality? Stop by and see our many rug styles, and learn which is the right choice for your home.