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Understanding Rug Terms

oriental handmade rug

Handmade Persian Area Rugs are generally classified as machine-made, hand-tufted or hand-woven/hand-knotted. There is a great deal of difference in these three classifications. 

1. Machine-made rugs: Machine-made means just what it says: the rug is mass-produced with a set pattern and very little human interaction is involved. While these rugs are not particularly valuable, Machine-made rugs make good floor coverings for areas of high traffic or where pets or dirt may be a problem. After all, you can replace them fairly easily and at a relatively low price. 

2. Hand-tufted: The name “hand-tufted” comes from the fact that a human hand holds the gun-like mechanism to shoot the wool into the backing. However, in no way is this a unique or hand-made item; however, top dollar for hand-tufted rugs should not be paid as they are truly not a valuable item. Hand-tufted rugs also use high amounts of petroleum-based rubber backing to hold the wool in place, leading to strong and unpleasant odors from these rugs. 

3. Hand-knotted or hand-woven: These are the true Oriental rug gems. They are made entirely by hand and, in the case of RugKnots rugs, with a great deal of care! Human hands actually knot the rug and shape it to be as accurate and uniform as possible. A good price on these types of rugs is a much better value than machine-made rugs.

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