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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Hand Knotted Rugs Reviewed In 2018Last Updated January 1, 2019
№1 – Hand-Knotted Grey Turkish Knot Oushak Oriental Rug (6’1″x8’10”)
№2 – Hand-Knotted Runner Antiqued Northwest Persian Design Rug (2’7″ x 6′)
№3 – nuLOOM Natural Hand Knotted Fez Shag Area Rug, 3′ x 5′
We all know that anything machine made cause detriment to the environment.
However, this is not where hand tufted rugs cause alarm.
Like Chris points out in his video, hand tufted rugs clog land fills.
You will never see someone throw a hand-knotted rug away. They last lifetimes and even when they faded or become damaged, they still have purpose.
When a hand knotted rug fades, the rug can be sent to be overdyed.
This this the process in which a rug is desaturated of all of its color and is then re-dyed with a new hue.
If the rug is damaged in any way, the rug is then sent to be used for a patchwork rug.
Here are the only 2things you absolutely need to know before buying a hand knotted rug.
Hand Knotted Rugs Are Individually Knotted by a Specialized Weaver.
Hand knotted rugs are the cream of the crop when it comes to rugs and carpets.
Hand Knotted Ikat design Rug
How to tell the difference between a hand made and a machine made rug:
To an untrained eye it is difficult to tell the difference between hand made, hand knotted, and machine made rugs. This guide will help you understand the differences and give you the advantage of making an informed buying decision when shopping for rugs.
Hand Knotted Rugs
Parts of a Hand Knotted Rug (Click the link to read our post about the knot count of hand knotted rugs.)
The length of time to produce a hand knotted rug depends on the size and intricacy of the pattern. It is not unheard of for a super fine quality 12’ x 15’ rug to take over a year to produce! Hopefully you can appreciate why the cost of these rugs is much greater.
Hand knotted rugs can be made of wool, cotton, silk, jute and other natural materials. Silk is sometimes used in wool rugs for the outlines or highlights of the pattern to enhance the design. Hand knotted and hand woven rugs can last many generations if they are of good quality and properly maintained.
Also called Oriental rugs, hand knotted and hand woven rugs are often collectibles. The quality of these rugs depends on numerous factors, such as the knot count, dyes used and quality of the yarns. Hand knotted rugs are typically more costly, but the life span of these rugs is greater and therefore usually a better value for your money.
Flat Weave or Hand Woven Rugs
Flat weave is another category of hand made rugs. These rugs are hand woven in a flat weave pattern and there is no pile. There is virtually no height to the rug. Soumak, Dhurrie, kilim and braided are all types of flat weave rugs. With a flat weave rug you will definitely want to put a rug pad under it to help it stay in place and provide a little more cushion to the
Machine Made Rugs
Machine made rugs are made by large machines called power looms. A power loom is electrically automated and controlled by computers. Machine made rugs can be made quickly and are manufactured with materials including wool and synthetic fibers such as polypropylene, nylon, polyester, acrylic and art silk.
Machine made rugs can offer a lower price alternative to hand knotted rugs. Machine made rugs usually have a life span of about 20 years or less, depending on the quality and fiber used. For example a high quality machine made wool rug can last for decades if it is well maintained. Machine made rugs are generally not of any value to a collector. Although there are certain brands, such as Karastan rugs, that have a very loyal following. Karastan brand is made in the US, they have been making rugs for decades, and their rugs are of superior design and quality.
Back of a machine made rug. Note the uniformity of the stitching which is done by a machine
Look at the Back of the Rug
One of the best ways to tell the difference between hand knotted and machine made rugs is to look at the back of the rug. In hand knotted rugs the weaving and the knots will be slightly uneven and not perfectly uniform. On the other hand, a machine made rug will look very uniform and perfectly even. The more detail in the design when looking from the back, the better the quality of the rug.
Back of a Machine Made Rug. NOTE: The fringe is sewn on.
Look at the Fringes of the Rug
Another way to determine if a rug is hand knotted or machine made is to look at the fringes. As you can see from the picture above, the fringe of a Machine made rug is sewn on and is attached as a finishing touch.
The fringe of a hand knotted rug is an extension of the rug foundation, as in the picture below.
The foundation of a Hand Knotted rug becomes the fringes.
We hope this article has been helpful to you! Please feel free to come by our showroom and we will be happy to show you the differences between hand made and machine made rugs in person!
Getting Your Buzz with Turkish Coffee
Carpets can range in price from several hundred dollars to several thousand or more, depending on the age, size, quality, and uniqueness. Merchants will ship them home for you, though many tourists find it cheaper and more foolproof to carry them back (the carpets can be folded and tied tightly into a squarish bundle).
The towns of Hereke and Kayseri are each famous for producing a certain type of carpet. Hereke (heh-reh-keh) carpets are denser, require much more workmanship, and are more expensive. Authentic Hereke carpets are becoming rare, and cheap imported knockoffs are in the market nowadays, so watch out. Kayseri (kay-seh-ree) wool-on-cotton and silk-on-silk carpets generally have floral designs. Their wool-on-wool carpets are favored for their unique patterns and lively colors. ) writes European travel guidebooks and hosts travel shows on public television and public radio. E-mail him at, or write to him c/o P.O. Box 2009, Edmonds, WA 98020.
It’s no secret that Charles IV, king of Bohemia, possessed the Spear of Destiny. But the way he brandished it in public reveals his savvy understanding of mythology and power.
A hammerhead shark locates a stingray hiding beneath the ocean floor. Unnerved, the stingray makes a dash for freedom but is it too late?
In 1992, Christopher McCandless set off to test if he could survive alone in the wilds of Alaska. It didn’t go as planned.
What do I need to know about appraisals and my rug’s value?
Section 1: What Should I consider before I shop for an antique rug?
I want to buy an antique rug but I am unsure on how to begin shopping for one.
One of the most asked questions we receive is: “I want to buy an antique oriental rug but don’t know where to start and what to look for”. So with that in mind we have decided to tackle this question head on!
First of all, one needs to understand that antique rugs and carpets are collectible items. They are sought after by collectors, dealers, interior designers and private clients. They are magnificent works of art and as the years go by they are becoming rarer.
So let’s start with the basics – in order for a rug to be considered “antique” it needs to be at least 80 years old. This is contrast to paintings or furniture which need to be over 100 years old.
The simple explanation is that rugs are expected to be used & walked on not just looked at (since most people will never walk on a Wassily Kandinsky painting, chances are that it will survive for a longer period of time).
What do I need need to consider before beginning the physical search for the perfect rug?
Here are a few points that you would need to consider before embarking on your quest to find the perfect antique oriental rugs:
Budget: Where you buy and from whom are equally important factors. Antique rugs range tremendously in price – some of the reasons for this are as follows:
Quality – It takes longer to weave a new rug if it has more kpsi (knots per square inch) so naturally the finer a new rug is, the more expensive it will cost. Antique rugs are different as the KPSI will only impact the price if you are comparing the quality of two pieces that are pretty much identical in every other way (the finer rug MIGHT cost more in that instance).
Condition – Please note that some repair and restoration should be expected when looking at antique rugs, but the general rule is that if the rug is in good condition it will cost more than if it were in poor condition.
Age – As a general rule – older pieces are generally more expense. The age of a rugs is not the major factor when pricing a rug unless one is considering an early pieces (from the 1800’s and earlier) and even then there are other factors that need to be taken into account.
Current Interior Design Trends – While beauty might be in the eyes of the beholder, there are trends, looks, colors and patterns that will determine if a rug is considered “hot” or “not”. America for example is a decorative market – this means that “we” in the USA are driven by colors and pattern more so than by quality or “how good” the piece is in its essence. While the Europeans demand is for somewhat opposite since they want an honest to goodness good piece and the colors / pattern are less of a factor. One example that exemplifies this point is the fact that antique carpets in America (not in Europe) a rug that has a central medallion motif will cost much less than the rug that has an allover designed. Rugs that have well defined central medallion designs will generally cost at least 30% less than those that have an allover design.
Here are two carpet images – the one one the left features a central medallion design and the one one the right has an allover pattern.
Both of these are antique Oushak rugs from Turkey. They both have the same general color scheme and are about the same size but since one has medallion it is far less expensive. The reason for this discrepancy in price is simple… in the USA we are fixated on centering everything – so if you have a rug with a central design most people / interior designers feel compelled to make ensure that the central design in the rug will perfectly aligned with the room and furniture which makes it harder to place.
Are antique rugs really more expensive that newly made contemporary carpets?
Shopping for Antique Rugs vs. New Rugs
Buying Antique Rugs vs. New Rugs – When shopping for a rug, there are lots of factors and criteria that a buyer should consider. One of the most important such criteria is the age of the rug. Some shoppers may be inclined to buy an antique piece, while others may be more inclined to purchase a new rug.
Of course, as is often the case with this sort of issue, there is no “correct” or “incorrect” decision – rather, whether a shopper decides to buy an eighteenth century rug or a carpet that is modern, as in – literally brand new should depend upon that individual’s own personal tastes and needs. Those who have a passion for rugs may well be concerned with the age of a particular piece, and for various reasons.
New Rugs Vs. Antique Rugs
Enthusiasts and aficionados will sense that older antique rugs will have greater quality and more personality than newer rugs. Such individuals may also be interested in the investment potential of antique rugs, which will generally hold their value or actually appreciate in value over time. Of course, one does not need to have a particularly deep passion for rugs and carpets to be interested in such investment potential – there are certainly those shoppers whose desire to buy an antique rug is motivated primarily by the desire to make a profit.
And of course there’s nothing wrong with that! Meanwhile, those individuals who are in the market simply for an attractive and practical floor covering would most likely by best served by buying new rugs. If well made with good materials, a new rug will meet such needs eminently well. At the end of the day, you should remember that the rug you are shopping for is going into your home, and, above all other things, it should be something that you love.
Section 2: Where and from Whom Should I buy an Antique Rug?
Crafted from jute, bamboo, and sea grass, natural fiber rugs are perfect for the eco-friendly and are among the most affordable. Some can feel scratchy and rough, so make sure to test each one before buying to make sure they are smooth and comfortable. Natural fiber rugs go best in dry rooms with low possibility of being stained, as they can be difficult to clean.
Durable, easy to care for and stain resistant, synthetic rugs are a good option for indoor/outdoor spaces. Though the most common materials are polypropylene and polyester, you can find a variety of durable materials found in these types of rugs.
As the name implies, this technique involves the rug fibers being knotted by hand on a loom. This time-tested method creates durable rugs that will last you a lifetime. However, this technique comes with a higher price.
Attached to a latex backing, tufted rugs are made by trimming the tops of loops of yarn to create a flat, plush surface. Easy on the wallet, these rugs come in a wide variety of styles. Just keep in mind that they are prone to shedding and require frequent vacuuming.
Hooked rugs are basically the same as tufted rugs. Only in this instance the tops are not lopped off, giving the rug a nubby and textured quality. This is beneficial because they shed less.
Reversible with the pattern visible on both sides, flatwoven rugs are great for high-traffic areas like entryways and living rooms. They are mat-like rugs that are versatile and durable. They do not come with any backing, however, so a rug pad is highly recommended with these.
Machine made rugs and woven on electric looms can encompass a wide variety of styles and materials. They are often cheaper and are highly resistant to stains. But they can crush easily, so they are best under dining tables, which have low foot traffic (but stains are likely).
As mentioned above, a few rugs require more vacuuming than others. But however often you do it, make sure to vacuum with care. Vacuums are powerful, and they will easily suck up all the dust and dirt from your rug, but they also have a tendency to loosen the fibers. Use the attachments, which are gentler, especially around the bindings at the edges. It is also worth pointing out that for the first few months of a new rug, shedding is normal and not a cause for alarm.
Other Unique Characteristics of Hand Knotted Rugs
Sprouting – is a common characteristic with hand knotted rugs – and is to be expected. Sprouting happens mainly with rugs that are made with twisted woolen yarn – they tend to be “washed out” or vintage looking, a very hot trend in the rug circuit. Because the wool is twisted to obtain this look – they can “pop up”. This is totally normal. To fix this, you can simply trim with scissors to the face of the rug. You do not want to pull these out as this could hurt the integrity of the rug. We also do not recommend using the beater bar on any type of rug – and this is partly to lessen the aggravation to the rug.
These rugs take far less time to complete, compared to a hand knotted rug; so they tend to be about half the price – or less.
The process is different for creating a hand tufted rug. The design of the rug is imprinted on to a canvas. The artisan then takes a “tufting gun” that pushes the appropriate color fiber through the canvas creating either a loop pile or a cut pile. I always say, imagine “paint by numbers”. This process is repeated, quickly and efficiently. The more tufts, the more work, but the more intricate the design. A scrim is applied to the back of the rug with a latex to secure the fibers – then covered with another cloth or canvas backing for extra protection.
I like to say hand tufted rugs generally have a lot of “Body” on the floor because they tend to have a thicker pile (say normally at least ½ inch). They do not have a binding around the edge like most machine made rugs do. Hand Tufted rugs traditionally are made of wool, but in more recent years you are seeing them produced in synthetic fibers, including viscose, polyester & poly-acrylic.
A notable characteristic of a hand tufted rug is that they will usually shed. This happens because, as you recall, the fibers are secured with a latex. Because of this, they are not as aggressively washed like hand knotted rugs – which removes most excess or loose fibers.
Hand tufted rugs are still very durable and you can expect anywhere from 3-years, depending on the quality and care. Wool is naturally a more durable and resilient fiber, so you will most likely get a longer life out of a wool hand tufted rug than say, a viscose hand tufted rug. But, it all comes down to the traffic in your room and the wear and tear the rug is subjected to. It makes perfect sense to put a viscose hand tufted rug in a bedroom because they tend to be plush, soft and comfortable to step on. Being a lower traffic space you can expect it to perform very well.
How to Identify: When you flip a hand tufted rug over you will see a solid cloth or canvas backing – normally neutral in color. They tend to be thicker than machine made or hand knotted rugs. They do not have a binding around the edges. Hand Tufted rugs are the rugs that are known to shed. When you rub your hand over a new tufted rug you can see a bit of shedding or peeling, this is normal.
Benefits of Hand Tufted Rugs: Tufted rugs provide a Nice Plush pile – “Body” on the floor. Many times made of – Wool – these fibers are durable, resilient and naturally resistant to dirt and spills. Some Hand Tufted rugs have hand carved details that can add dimension and texture to the rug. Hand Tufted rugs are more budget friendly, especially if changing décor every few years to keep up with trends is important to the consumer. They are available in a wide range of styles and colors.
Other Unique Characteristics of Hand Tufted Rugs
Sprouting – can also happen with hand tufted rugs – and is to be expected. Sprouting happens mainly with rugs that are made with twisted wool – they tend to be “washed out” or vintage looking, a very hot trend in the rug circuit. Because the wool is twisted to obtain this look – they can “pop up”. This is totally normal. To fix this, you can simply trim with scissors to the face of the rug. You do not want to pull these out as this could hurt the integrity of the rug. We also do not recommend using the beater bar on any type of rug – and this is partly to lessen the aggravation to the rug.
Identification: When you look at the back side of a hand tufted rug you will normally see a solid, natural colored cloth or canvas backing. This is just another protective layer, but has no bearing on the longevity of the rug.
Hand Loomed rugs are simply made using a hand loom. Generally speaking, these rugs have very simple patterns because of this process. Ranging from very thin to very thick pile, they are made more quickly than hand knotted rugs because of less design and color changes. They are generally more casual in presence and priced very competitively. They can be made of any variety of fibers and their durability factor will rely on that.
Benefits of Hand Loomed Rugs: Hand Loomed rugs are have versatile styles. They can carry to look of high end Tibetan hand knotted rug but priced very competitively. Hand Loom rugs’ durability is based on fiber – these tend to be very durable.
The term hand woven can be an all-encompassing because any rug literally woven by hand, is hand woven. That being said, many Shags, Natural Fiber rugs like Jute & Hemp, and Flat weaves are also considered Hand Woven. Many times, hand woven rugs bring texture to the floor and have generally a casual, natural presence. They can be made of a variety of fibers and can be very thick or very thin. They tend to lean towards more simplistic designs – including, solids, stripes and geometrics.
Benefits of Hand Woven Rugs: Woven Rugs are versatile and priced competitively. Many times they offer more casual / natural looks. The durability depends on the fiber – but these tend to be very durable
The art, and craft, of hand hooking rugs has been around for centuries. By pulling small loops through a canvas cloth and securing it by applying a protective backing, a beautiful rug is born. Hand Hooked rugs are very popular in kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms and sunrooms. Much sought-after French country florals, classic kitchen rugs and seaside nautical motifs are some of our bestselling hooked rug styles.
In the past few years, we have started selling hooked rugs that are actually indoor/outdoor! These are colorfast and mildew resistant and add some much life to your outdoor setting area – or are perfect for a busy kitchen. Hooked rugs tend to be more casual – I always have called them “Happy” rugs because they are usually bright and cheerful.
Benefits of Hand Hooked Rugs: These charming rugs quickly add character to any space at a reasonable price. Some Hand Hooked rugs are indoor/outdoor – which means they are colorfast and mildew resist. They are low to medium pile height. Hand Hooked rugs are also popular and great for children’s rooms.
Other Information Regarding Hand Hooked Rugs
Sprouting: Should one of the loops “pop up” or sprout in your hooked rug you never want to pull it. You can try to tuck it back down into the rug – or more simply cut it to the face of the rug. This will not affect the integrity of the rug and is to be expected.
Ah, an American signature. Braided rugs continue to be a popular choice among consumers. By taking a fiber, whether it be wool, cotton, a synthetic or a combination of types, and braiding it with various colors – a special piece is created. Once this piece is secured at the end it is sewn together with other strands to create the rug. This strong clear thread keeps the rug together but goes unnoticed until you look much closer. Braided rugs are available in a slew of color options and combinations. Super popular for kitchens, casual dining rooms, living rooms, playrooms and kids rooms – braided rugs are a home comfort that is here to stay.
Benefits of Braided Rugs: No adhesive is used in production when making Braided rugs. The art of braided rugs originated in the USA, and many of our braided rugs are still made here. Some rugs have indoor/outdoor options are available. Many braided rugs include great price points. Braided rugs come in rectangles and runners, of course – but they are also available in ovals and rounds and in hard to find sizes – ovals up to 12×1– rounds up to 12×1– and the prices are unbelievable! Braided rugs create a casual environment – where traditions are made and creativity is treasured. Maybe best of all, Braided rugs are versatile.
Other Information Regarding Braided Rugs
Shag are more than back, they are here to stay! These rugs made their hearty debut in the 60’s and then retreated – but it’s safe to say their back and not going anywhere soon. These plush, lush, high pile rugs add texture, comfort and a healthy level of spice to any space. This, my friends, is undeniable!
The look of the shag is generally dictated by the thickness and material of the fiber – ranging from very thin & shiny to very thick, nubby and matte. They can be modern chic to simply casual to nursery ready. It all depends on the fiber, the thickness of the fiber, the density of the material and of course the color! Given all these variables, the price can vary considerably – but most are priced low to moderate.
Simple solids are always popular, but recently we have been seeing all types of designs in the shag construction.
Benefits of Shag Rugs: Comfort, comfort, comfort – if you are looking for comfort – then consider the versatile, “sink your feet into me” shag. Shags have a lot of “body” and naturally add warmth to any space.
This type of rug is unique because it is reversible! It is reversible because it does not actually have a pile per say. These rugs are woven on a loom by passing a weft strand back and forth through the warp. They are usually made of wool, which makes them very durable. They tend to be very thin and “flat” to the floor.
Kilims, Dhurries, & Soumaks are the most popular types of flat weaves. Soumaks are considered the thickest of flat woven rugs – sometimes reaching ½ inch thick. Many of the traditional southwestern and tribal rugs are flat weaves. They are very popular in rustic / lodge settings but of course can be used anywhere. Just recently, flat woven rugs, in more transitional and geometric designs, have taken the rug industry by storm and the price points are fabulous.
Benefits of Flat Woven Rugs: Flat Woven rugs are reversible. Also, Flat Woven rugs have great price points for the look that it presents. There is no adhesive used in production. The rugs are usually made of wool – so very durable, cleanable and long life expectancy. Their “flat” presence tends to radiate a casual, natural setting – they are not formal rugs. With Flat Woven rugs there is no noticeable shedding either.
A cutting edge trend in rugs – printed rugs are generally, machine made rugs, where the design is actually printed after the rug is woven. It allows for great precision and endless color options within the same rug. Priced super competitively for the amount of bang for your buck!
Hand Woven rugs can also be printed, usually block or screen printed. Most common on natural fibers such as jute and hemp, this is a cost effective and fast way of achieving a unique look.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Hand Knotted Rugs wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Hand-Knotted Rugs
- №1 — Hand-Knotted Grey Turkish Knot Oushak Oriental Rug (6’1″x8’10”)
- №2 — Hand-Knotted Runner Antiqued Northwest Persian Design Rug (2’7″ x 6′)
- №3 — nuLOOM Natural Hand Knotted Fez Shag Area Rug, 3′ x 5′