There is a significant difference between a Hand knotted rug VS a Machine made rug. It’s very important for you to know the difference when purchasing a rug – often people will buy a machine made rug because it’s cheaper, but like everything else – you get what you pay for.

Reasons why you should buy Handmade over Machine made:

  1. Handmade rug is a piece of art that some one has woven with love, and each rug has a unique story.
  2. The workman ship that goes into these handmade rugs are unlike any other art – the entire processes from gathering the wool to shearing, cleaning, cutting, spinning, dying and then weaving is unparalleled.
  3. Handmade rugs ware better and last longer than machine made rugs.
  4. Handmade rugs can appreciate in value over time, if maintained properly and it being a well-crafted rug to begin with.
  5. You can pass handmade rugs down from generation to generation becoming family heirlooms with decades of stories and memories.

Ways to tell if the rug is Hand knotted:

  1. Look for imperfections from the design on the front, to the knots on the back. Look for the foundation of the rug (typically cotton) in-between the knots, and look for uneven/non-straight knots woven horizontally.
  2. Look at the back of the rug and pull on the fringe and notice some of the knots moving and being pulled with the fringe, that’s because the knots are tied to the foundation of the rug, which is the fringe. Sometimes handmade rugs will have tags on them that say “Hand knotted” or “Made in Iran” etc.
  3. You should be able to see the design of the front of the rug on the back.

Ways to tell if the rug is Machine made:

  1. There is stitching done by a machine always along both sides of the rug. (The stitching can be dyed to make it less noticeable)
  2. The design is often less clear and crisp.
  3. The back is covered with perfectly straight lines and have good uniformity (because it’s done by a machine) and sometimes can feel like it has a hard plastic-like backing.
  4. The fringe is almost always sewn on.
  5. The rug sometimes is lighter in weight because there is no actual foundation that the “knots” are tied on. Most of the time the rug will have a tag saying that it is machine made, or have a brand name such as Karastan, and often these rugs are made in Belgium.
  6. If the rug has an all-over gray or beige backing and you can’t see the design of the rug on the back, that could mean it’s either machine made or hand-tufted – which is nowhere near hand knotted in terms of value.

Today, machine made rugs are being made better than the past, but still absolutely no comparison to the art and beauty of a hand knotted rug. If your top priority is price of the rug, then perhaps machine made rug is the route you should go with – even then though, tell your rug dealer your budget and see if he/she will be able to find something hand knotted within your price range. Try to go handmade whenever you can.

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