Rugs come in various styles, sizes, and materials, and the differences between handmade and machine-made rugs may not always be obvious. However, knowing the characteristics that set them apart can help you determine which type of rug you own or plan to purchase. Here are some tips from Duke Brothers Oriental Rug Cleaning, the rug cleaning pros, on determining if the rug in your Norfolk area home is handmade or machine-made.
1. Examine the Fringe and Edge Finishing
The fringes of a rug can offer clues to its production type. If the fringe is an extension of the rug’s structure, it’s likely a handmade rug. On the contrary, it’s likely machine-made if it’s added afterward.
Looking at the edge finishing can also reveal how it’s made. If you notice any type of binding or surging used, it’s a machine-made rug. On the other hand, if the edge has no visible stitches, it’s a handmade rug.
2. Study the Back of the Rug
Every knot in a handmade rug is tied by hand, making the backside of the rug an important factor in identifying how it was produced. If you pay attention to the warp (vertical lines) and weft (horizontal lines) on the back of a handmade rug, they will not be 100% even. A rug with an uneven back is likely of high quality. You can also feel the natural fibers used to create the rug’s foundation and weaving precision to understand its quality and authenticity better.
3. Measure the Straightness
Examining the rug’s four edges can be helpful, too. Machine-made rugs always have straight edges with almost no difference in measurements. On the other hand, handmade rugs may have slightly varied straightness, especially those created by village or tribal weavers. However, the difference shouldn’t exceed a few inches.
Checking the Material
Examining the materials used is one way to tell the difference between handmade and machine-made rugs. Genuine handmade Persian or Oriental rugs are typically crafted from natural materials like wool, silk, cotton, or other plant fibers. The use of original materials enhances the rug’s quality and authenticity. Handmade rugs typically fall into one of three categories:
Considered the epitome of traditional rug-making, artisans meticulously tie each knot by hand. Hand-knotted rugs are known for their softness, flexibility, and exceptional durability, albeit at a higher price point.
Artisans crafting hand-tufted rugs begin by using canvas and jute. Using a handheld tufting gun or drill, they insert a pile into the jute foundation, creating a loop pile. They then use adhesive materials like gum, glue, or latex to secure the piles. Hand-tufted rugs require less time and labor than hand-knotted ones, making them a more cost-effective option while still maintaining durability.
These rugs are woven by hand, and unlike other rug types, they lack piles, knots, or tufts. Popular examples of handwoven rugs include Soumak, Dhurrie, and Kilim, known for their unique patterns and versatility.
Unlike handmade rugs, machine-made rugs are often formed using synthetic fibers like acrylic, polyester, nylon, or wool blends. Checking the material composition provides valuable insight into the rug’s origins.
Talk to an Expert
At Duke Brothers Oriental Rug Cleaning, we know how to differentiate between rug types since we’ve offered rug care services to the Norfolk area for over 20 years. We specialize in cleaning high-end area rugs, including Persian, Oriental, Navajo, Karastan, Turkish, Pakistani, Afghan, wool, silk, cotton, synthetic, and other natural fiber rugs. We also offer rug repairs and rug moth treatments.
Whether you own a handmade rug with natural fibers or a machine-made one with synthetic materials, both require care and maintenance. When it’s time to get your rug cleaned for your Norfolk home, you can trust Duke Brothers to provide professional and reliable rug cleaning services. Contact us at (757) 780-9073 or request a free quote online today!