Hand Woven Or Machine Made: What Type Of Rug Is Right For You by EarsuckerStaff on November 25, 2013
Before buying either a hand woven or machine made rug, consideration should be given to what is expected from the rug. Do you expect the rug to last many years? Are you looking for an investment ? Would you prefer a new rug or an antique? Are you interested in natural materials or are synthetics acceptable?
Machine Made Rugs
Machine made rugs are manufactured on computer-controlled power looms and can be produced much faster than a hand woven rug, and so should be much cheaper. The highest quality rugs are generally made of wool. It is unlikely that machine made rugs would be made of the best quality wool, but the wool if used should be an acceptable quality. To check, rub fibers to see if they feel resilient or dry, which would indicate very poor quality wool. These rugs are often made from synthetic fibers. If you see ‘art silk’ on the label, that does not indicate good quality or real silk, but ‘artificial silk’.
Hand-Tufted Or Hand-Hooked Rugs
These fall into a category between machine made and hand woven. Hand tufted rugs are produced by a person pushing yarn into a cotton backing using a modified hand drill. After the rug is completed, the back is covered with latex rubber to hold the tufts in place. Then a canvas backing is applied to cover the latex rubber to protect against direct contact with your flooring which can be damaged by outgassing and decomposition of the rubber over time..
A hand tufted rug usually has the loops of yarn cut into a pile while a hand hooked rug has uncut loops. A sculptured, multi-textured effect may be created by cutting some loops and leaving others uncut. Because these rugs can be made very quickly, they offer a handmade look at an affordable price, but they are not durable like handmade rugs; and will never be collectible or an investment.
Hand Woven Rugs
Hand woven rugs run the gamut from a simple area rug woven by a nomad woman to a museum-quality masterpiece. The rugs can be new or antique, wool or silk. Dyes might be natural or synthetic. The rug might have a pile or be flat weave. Designs can be either traditional or contemporary. As with anything, quality varies. A good quality hand woven rug can last for generations and is considered a work of art. An antique hand woven rug is a treasure. There is a patina that cannot be duplicated by a modern rug.
It is also helpful to find a rug store where you can browse and decide what type of rug appeals to you; where you can talk with an experienced professional willing to show you how one rug is better than another for your purposes. Knot count (how many knots in a square inch) is often mentioned, but is just one of many indices of quality. The quality of the materials and a host of other factors are also important.
Putting a little thought into finding the right rug will lead to a making a more satisfactory choice. The right rug can be a focal point of your home and will help to showcase other decorative treasures you possess or hope to acquire.