A Helpful Guide for Identifying Genuine Handmade Oriental Rugs
You may be keen to shop a beautiful handmade oriental rug for decorating for your home and enhancing its appeal. But before you do this, you should try to gain some knowledge about the handmade Oriental rugs. This knowledge would help you to avoid situations where customers were sold a hand-tufted or machine-made rug by the unscrupulous rug merchants by claiming it to be a handmade rug.
To help you avoid such situations and identify a genuine and high quality handmade oriental rug for buying it, we are sharing here some useful knowledge about handmade rugs.
What are handmade oriental rugs?
Handmade rugs are actually hand-knotted rugs. These are created in various oriental countries like Iran, Turkey, India, China, Russia, and others. They are made by hand on a specialized loom. The process of weaving hand-knotted rugs requires a lot of effort and time. A weaver inserts knots into a rug and ties them each by hand. Creating hand-knotted rugs can take months to years.
Handmade rugs are different from hand-tufted rugs and machine-made rugs.
Hand-tufted rugs are not entirely made by hands. For creating a hand-tufted rug, a modified handheld drill gun is used by a weaver for shooting pieces of wool through a canvas backing. This backing has an outline drawn upon it which is filled in by the weaver.
Machine-made rugs are made by large machines which are known as power looms. A power loom is electrically automated and its functioning is controlled by computers. There are some notable differences between handmade oriental rugs and rugs made by machines and hand-tufted rugs.
1.The back of the rug
If there is more detail on the back of the rug, then it means that the rug is of better quality. Hand-knotted rugs do not have any kind of backing to them. A hand-knotted rug can be flipped over and used without any differences. In the case of hand-tufted and machine-made rugs, a latex coating is applied to their back for holding their tufts in place. The coating is then covered over by another layer of fabric which usually is a canvas material. As the difference between the back of these rugs is so glaring, flipping them over is the easiest way to identify it.
2. Symmetry and Design
A hand-knotted rug is symmetric on both its front and back. A machine-made rug is also uniform, though it will not have any kind of design on its back. Hand-knotted rugs have a very unique design as each one of them is crafted by hand to be fully original rather than mass-produced machine made rugs. This is why hand-knotted rugs are one of a kind and beautiful works of art.
3. Time spent in creation
Hand-knotted rugs can be created within 7 to 14 months depending on their size. Compared to this, creating hand-tufted rugs may take only a day. Machine-made rugs can be created in one hour.
The ends of the knots on the back of a hand-knotted rug are slightly uneven and not fully uniform. For machine-made rugs, the ends of the knots are entirely even. However, the knots present on a machine-made rug are not really knots. These get created when a power loom secures fibers to the base of the rug and sticking them into the fabric by using heat and high pressure. Though this process is much quicker than tying individual knots by hand, it is not that much durable.
The fibers in a machine-made rug are prone to pulling out with the passage of time. In hand-knotted rugs, the knots holding the rug are immensely tight and can last for centuries without ever coming undone or fraying.
5. The fringe of the rug:
In a machine-made rug, its fringe is sewn on at the end of the process and has no function in holding the rug together. When making a hand-knotted rug, each knot in it is secured to a warp thread which naturally forms the fringe of the rug. Unlike machine-made rug, the fringe on a hand-knotted rug is vital for the rug’s construction. If the fringe of a rug appears to be sewn on and not naturally occurring component of its design, then you are looking at a machine-made rug.
The quality of the knots makes hand-knotted rugs far more durable than hand-tufted rugs or machine-made rugs. In hand-tufted and machine-made rugs, their tufts tend to pull out from the foundation of the rug. In hand-knotted rugs, the fibers are held in place with tightly woven knots which do not pull out with the passage of time.
Hand-knotted rugs are made of higher quality and thoroughly durable materials like wool or a blend of silk and wool. Wool can experience up to 10,000 bends before breaking. Hand-knotted rugs can last many generations if properly maintained. Hand-tufted rugs are often made of wool. They can last for up to 20 years.
Machine-made rugs are made from synthetic materials like nylon or polyester. Though these materials are inexpensive, they are little more than plastic and easily tend to break. These materials can withstand a few hundred bends before breaking.
These are some pros and cons of hand-knotted rugs.
1. They are one of a kind collector’s piece.
2. They are durable and can last for hundreds of years.
3. Handmade oriental rugs are available in a huge range of design patterns, colors, sizes, and shapes.
4. They are visually breathtaking. The combination of silk and wool materials adds great detail and sharpness to these rugs.
1. They have a higher cost in comparison to other kinds of rugs.
These are some of the terms associated with hand-knotted rugs.
Warp: In hand-knotted rugs, the foundation runs along the entire length of the rug which is called the warp of the rug.
Weft: When a weaver weaves hand-knotted rugs, the cross threads are placed over and under the warp threads. These are called the weft.
Pile: After forming the knot, the craftsman cuts off the wool. These collective cut ends are known as the pile of the rug.
Carding: This process is used by many weavers for preparing the wool for spinning. In this process, the raw wool is drawn repeatedly across the rows of tiny metal teeth.
Arabesque: Some of the more elaborately designed rugs have continuous lines of shoots and leaves that are interlaced together in a complex manner. This pattern is known as the Arabesque design.
We hope this knowledge would help you to identify and buy genuine and high-quality handmade rugs and avoid getting sold other rugs by unscrupulous rug merchants by claiming them to be handmade rugs.
Magic Rugs is a reputed rug store based in Charlotte. It offers a wide variety of handmade oriental rugs. Its collection includes antique handmade rugs as well as modern and affordable Persian rugs. Here you can also get a vintage Persian rug for decorating your home and enhancing its beauty and appeal. Its rugs would let you leave a great impression on your visitors.