The most valuable of rugs are those that are handmade with natural fibers.  The uniqueness of a handmade rug is that it has natural “mistakes” that make it unique and special.  Sometimes weavers even add these “mistakes” to give it their own personal signature.  The foundation of a handmade rug is with a warp and a weft.  Knots are tied horizontally on the weft of the rug.  The knotting style and the colors used determine the uniqueness of the rug.

Handwoven rugs can include many different types of rugs including hand knotted pile, dhurrie, kilim, flatweave, soumac, chainstitch, needlepint, handtufted and rag rugs. They are definitely more expensive then typical machine made rugs, not only due to their design, but also because their production process is much longer and more complex.  A real artist that cares about their creation is involved in its production!

Tufted Rugs

Although these are called handmade rugs, they are slightly different than their hand knotted counterparts.  Hand tufted rugs are also usually considerably lower in price than hand knotted as they can be manufactured quite quickly.

Hand tufted rugs are made by shooting strands of wool into a canvas that’s stretched on a frame using a special tufting tool.  A tufted rug can be made very quickly and requires less skill than hand knotting.

Once all the wool has been added, the rug is removed from the frame and this canvas type fabric is GLUED to the back.  If they are made to look traditional, the fringe is added after by sewing or gluing it together.

Machine Made Rugs

Generally speaking, machine made rugs are not considered to be works of art, no matter how pretty they may be.  That being said, just because it is machine made and less expensive, doesn’t mean that we can’t clean it and make it look like it is almost brand new again.

Can you tell the difference?

One way to determine if a rug is hand knotted or machine made is to look at the fringe.  If the fringe has been sewn on afterward, then it is mostly likely machine made.  Also, the back of a machine made rug doesn’t have the “knot” distinction that a handmade knotted rug has.

Another giveaway of a machine made rug is that they look too perfect! You don’t see any knot variations, or odd patterns in the rug that are unexpected.  The back of the machine made rug looks entirely uniform.

When cleaning either a handmade rug or a machine made rug, The Rug Wash puts a great deal of effort into making sure you get the the very best results.  Please be sure to let us know before you order whether it is handmade or machine made.  (If you are not sure, we will let you know!)

Although we do our very best in all fibers of rugs that we clean, please keep in mind that a synthetic rug will degrade over time as it does not have the longevity of wool.