Rug Construction: Handmade vs Machine-made

Hand-loomed Hand-knotted Hand-tufted

Hand-knotted rugs are among the finest and most elaborate form of rug construction you can find, while others such as hand-tufted or machine-made are often considered a cheaper and faster way of producing rugs.

Understanding the varying artistry that goes into every rug construction is essential to determine its durability, care, and overall rug value.

Hand-knotted

Hand-knotted rugs are among the finest and most detailed form of rugs you can find. As the name would suggest, the process is traditionally executed by hand, using a loom and a meticulous knotting technique.

Hand-knotted rugs typically come in four styles of knots; Turkish, Persian, Persian Jufti, and Turkish Jufti. It should be noted that while this doesn’t affect the quality or design; a trained eye helps spot which style you have. The density of the knots is often an indicator of the value of the rugs, so pay attention to the knot count!

Typically made from bamboo silk, wool or a mixture of the two; these rugs are expensive as it is labour-intensive, though a great purchase as it holds value for years.

Price from: £700+

LCN06
LCN06 DUSK – Hand-knotted Rayon Rug
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Hand-loomed

Hand-loomed rugs are becoming quite the popular rug style for those on a budget; made on looms similar to fabric looms. It is faster to create more than its sophisticated counterpart ie hand-knotted rugs. 

Hand-loomed rugs are produced in a short-time and constructed on more robust materials, such as polyester, rayon or a combination of natural and synthetic materials.

Be careful with these types of rugs, as despite its construction, hand-loomed rugs are quite delicate and if placed in high traffic areas may begin to exhibit signs of wear and damage quite quickly. Therefore, these rugs would be more suitable for an area in the home with the least foot traffic.

Price from: £100+

Hand-loomed Hand-knotted Hand-tufted
GEM06 SMOKY QUARTZ – Hand-loomed Viscose Rug
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Hand-tufted

Hand-tufted rugs are created considerably different despite having ‘hand’ in the name and having similar designs to the hand-knotted rugs. Stretched over a frame; hand-tufted rugs are produced by punching strands of wool into a canvas. The process is quick, which means that the difference in price is considerable in comparison. Most hand-tufted rugs will usually be finished by adding a scrim fabric to the back and have tassels and knots glued on to the edge to create the hand-knotted effect.

Made mostly from wool, they are blemish and damage resistant, but only to a point. These rugs are durable and excellent in high foot traffic areas of the home. However, they will still require cleaning and maintenance to keep them looking their best.

Price from: £90+

Hand-loomed Hand-knotted Hand-tufted
REV101 SILVER – Hand-tufted Polyester Rug
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Handmade

Handmade rugs tend to follow a more modern construction process but in keeping with traditional styles and techniques. These are not to be confused with hand-tufted rugs though, as they are built in an entirely different style altogether.

These rugs tend to be slightly more expensive than some in this category, but with good reason. Made with more natural fibres and, as the name suggests, are made by hand. Handmade rugs are typically handwoven in flat weave style, ie flat with a slight height in the rug. This time-consuming technique requires great skill, so naturally, the price will increase and reflects the rug value overall. Often, these rugs are dense and provide only limited support on a cold floor, hence placing a rug pad underneath will further keep it in place and increased comfort.

Price from: £200+

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Handwoven

Handwoven rugs, as the name would suggest, are handwoven. Unlike some of its more detailed and intricate counterparts, ie hand-knotted rugs, these are created quite quickly using more modern weaving styles that come in a variety of colours, textures, styles and designs. From geometric to more plain styles, the beauty of buying one of these rugs is that you will be sure to find one that is perfect for your living space.

Usually made from natural materials, such as wool; this gives them a hardy appearance and structure, but also means that they have a natural resistance to stains and damage.

Price from: £90+

V&A ZELDA MULTI - Handwoven Wool Rug
V&A ZELDA MULTI – Handwoven Wool Rug
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Machine-made

Machine-made rugs are often industrially created using man-made fibres such as polypropylene and polyester; processed by computer programmed rug patterns. This makes them remarkably fast to produce as the fibres are stronger and malleable.

These rugs are often considerably cheaper than other options of rugs, notably the hand-knotted rugs. The process and materials used are the polar opposite of these. The lifespan of a machine-made rug will average around 20 years, but this can vary depending on the type of fibre used in production. Some brands have a firm following due to their eye-catching and elaborate designs but are simply considered as a decorative piece and not as a collector’s item.

Price from: £20+

PSN16 GYMTC – Machine-made Polypropylene Rug
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Power-loomed

Power-loomed rugs are undoubtedly the most modern method of rug construction today, that is, they are often very affordable and give the impression of a much more expensive item. Similarly made to machine-made rugs; the materials used in power-loomed rugs are often those of jute, wool and polypropylene.

These rugs are weaved using three different styles, ie Wilton, Cross-even Wilton, and the Axminster, and produced in varying heights and piles.

Extremely fast to manufacture and can be designed to look like their handmade counterparts. As a result, this style of rug is a great addition to any family home and will provide years of aesthetic pleasure.

Price from: £30+

ORLANDO CK850 CK851 SILVER GREY - Power-loomed Viscose Rug
CK851 SILVER GREY – Power-loomed Viscose Rug
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RUGS TO INSPIRE INTERIOR DESIGNERS

Discover some inspiration in our new Interior Design Guide available for download.

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