How to Tell the Difference Between a Handmade rug and a Machine Made Rug
This article is intended to help you tell the difference between a handmade (or hand knotted) rug and a machine made rug. This will help you when you are in the market to purchase a rug. The more you know about rugs before purchasing one, then the less chance you have of getting ripped off during the process. There are also differences in the cleaning of a synthetic rug vs. a natural fiber. So knowing what type of rug you have can help you when it comes time to take your rugs to the rug cleaning plant.
- Few, if any, handmade rugs have a tag on the back and almost all machine made rugs will have tags, similar to the one on the right.
- If a rugs pile is made from polyester, olefin, nylon, polypropolene, or any other synthetic fiber then the rug is a machine made rug.
- If a rug is made in Belgium, Italy or somewhere else in western Europe then it is very likely a machine made rug.
So if you still can’t tell whether or not you have a hand-made rug or a machine made rug then here are some other things to look for on the rug itself. By knowing a few simple things, you will be able to look at the front and back of a rug and know what you are looking at.
Handmade rug front – Fringe is actually part of the warp yarns, not sewn on. Hand stitched edging. May not be perfectly straight. Figure 2 Handmade rug back – White knots are part of rugs foundation, edge is not perfectly straight and fringe is not sewn on which is easier to tell from the back.
Figure 3 Machine made rug back
Figure 4 Machine Made rug back - fringe is sewn and glued on and glue is visible. You can also see white lines running the length of the rug. These lines are not seen on handmade rugs.
So now, you should be able to tell whether the rug you like is handmade or machine made. Both styles of floor coverings can be beautiful and last for many years with the proper care and rug cleaning. So if you find a rug you like and it happens to be machine made rather than handmade don’t let it deter you from purchasing it.