What Is The Difference Between Hand Knotted And Handmade Area Rugs?

Rugs have many different categories they fall under from design type, country of origin, natural or synthetic fiber but, the most important of all, is it hand knotted or handmade.  There is even machine made rugs of high value but that is a separate classification.  The defining difference between the two is, hand knotted rugs are made by a master rug weaver tying the loops of wool with a knot around the wefts  of a rug working with only their hands and a few hand tools to tap the rows down and to cut the wool.  On the other hand, a handmade rug uses the wool fiber and a weaver but, the weaver uses a tool to place the knots in the wefts and the tool ties the knot.  The handmade rug can be considered handmade because the weaver uses the machine tool but uses their hands to work it.  Hand knotted rugs require a master weaver to create the design from a cartoon and in contrast, the handmade weaver normally follows a pattern drawn on the wefts to guide them.

Another determining factor in most cases is, the fringe on the end of the rug will be sewn with a machine for handmade rugs and for hand knotted rugs, the fringe is tied by the weaver with the left over Weft and they determine the fringe look.  Also the side cords on a handmade rug are machined made and in the case of hand knotted rugs again, the weaver carefully wraps additional wool around and hand finishes the side cord.

Hand knotted rugs on the average retain their value and in some cases increase while, a handmade rug is like a new car purchased at a dealership; neither one is worth the same after being bought and leave the lot.  There are exceptions to the rule; some handmade rugs will retain their value due to the fiber material used in them and their design.  Hand knotted rugs are not always a high value item but, the majority do retain value and some grow in value as they age. 

There are some really well made machine rugs such as Karastan that although machine made, can maintain value due to the craftsmanship of the machine weave and designs.  Machine made rugs can be made with natural and synthetic fibers too.

Handmade or Hand Knotted, the differences may be small however, the next time you are looking at an area rug for purchase, you now will know the difference.  

Until next time, Rugman Out!

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