When looking for tips on buying rugs, one piece of advice that you are likely to hear over and over again is that handmade rugs are superior to machine made rugs. So what exactly is the difference between the two and why is a handmade rug a better choice than its machine made counterpart? Read on to learn the differences so that you can make an informed buying decision.
Handmade rugs are created on a handloom, which is set based on the size of the rug that the artisan wants to create. There are primarily three types of handmade rugs and each one has its own unique characteristics.
Hand-Knotted Rug: In this type of rug, the fibers are knotted by hand and the loom size determines the rug size. The knots in the rugs are inserted into the base and then tied. These knots make the rug pile. It takes time to create these rugs and it is a labor-intensive task. These rugs are usually made from natural fibers, like silk, wool, jute and cotton. Hand-knotted rugs are expensive, but are highly durable.
Flat Weave Rug: These handmade rugs are flat as they do not have a pile, which usually gives other rugs their thickness. Good examples of flat weave rugs are Kilim, Dhurrie and Soumak. If you intend getting a flat weave rug it is advisable to place a rug pad under it to ensure it stays in place and also offers some amount of cushioning.
Hand-Tufted Rug: This rug made with the help of handheld drill that is used to insert the pile into a cloth base, forming a loop pile. If the loop pile is cut, it is known as cut pile. A rug can have mix of loop and cut piles to give it more depth and dimension. The rug is finished by fixing a canvas-like fabric to the anterior portion of the rug.
Machine Made Rugs
As the name suggests, these types of rugs are mass produced using a power loom. This type of loom is automated and controlled using computers. Since each rug is made using a machine, it gets created quickly. However, they tend to be mass produced so the rug you buy is not likely to be one-of-a-kind, which means it has a lower value as an investment.
Typically, machine made rugs are made from wool or synthetic fibers, like acrylic, nylon, polypropylene, art silk and polyester.
How To Differentiate Between Handmade And Machine Made Rugs
- The back of the rug of a handmade rug will be uneven and filled with knots. Machine made rug will be even and uniform, without any knots.
- In handmade rug, the fringe is part of the weave, but this is not the case with a machine made rug, where the fringe is manually sewn onto the rug to give it a finished appearance.
Why Opt For Handmade Rugs
If you want to buy a rug, it is always best to opt for a handmade rug even though you will pay more for it. There are many reasons why handmade rugs are a better choice:
- Handmade rugs are more durable and can last a lifetime
- Each handmade rug is created with passion and creativity
- Handmade rugs narrate a story as artisans use skills passed down generations based on their interpretation of life and the skills they have acquired
- Unlike machine made rugs, handmade rugs are unique. No two rugs will be the same as it depends on the artisan
- Handmade rugs epitomize workmanship and artistry. An artisan has to be adept in his craft to create these stellar pieces
- A handmade rug will have minor imperfections, which give it character and uniqueness
- Artisans use the best quality materials to weave handmade rugs
Choosing a handmade rug over a machine made piece is particularly important if you are looking to buy a rug not just as a decorative element but also as an investment.