Handmade Rug Buyer’s Guide
Oriental rugs have the unique ability to combine the elements of tradition with a modern sensibility. They offer an elegant texture and look, often created in traditional patterns such as the classic oriental carpet, hand knotted wool rug, shag and tai inspired rugs. A handmade rug woven on an old loom has a unique look and texture that are both pleasing to the eye and very tactile. Rugs made on looms have a much shorter life span than carpets woven by machines as they do not take as much beating and wearing.
Handmade rugs are meticulously hand woven and creatively crafted by skilled artisans with skills that have been passed on for centuries. An authentic handmade rug may take years or even decades to produce so these delicate types of rugs usually are not affordable to the average consumer. A good quality wool rug typically has a foundation made from either loose wool, shag or nylon with a reinforcing edge of polyester or cotton. There are many different ways to construct the foundation but all need a sturdy base with plenty of room for the weft to spin.
If the base is made from nylon, the weft usually will be constructed on an overstretch machine which is a special type of machine used to create the weft strands which are then twisted together. If the base material is made from wool, the weft is made on an overstretch machine which is a different type of machine used to create the weft strands which are then twisted together. The yarns from each separate weaving process are separated and the individual knots are placed on the foundation. After the individual knots are placed, the foundation is pulled through the knots and the finished handmade rug is completed.
One of the advantages of purchasing an oriental rug online or at a furniture store is that individuals can look at the rug along with the actual merchandise. Many individuals may not know much about oriental rug making and the techniques involved, therefore an individual who is purchasing the rug online will have a better idea if the individual will be pleased with the end product or not. In addition, if an individual has purchased a hand-made rug at a local store, they can actually hold the rug up and examine it in person to determine the appearance of the knotting.
Handmade rugs that are machine made typically are not created in the same manner. Most are either made with a flat or round warp yarn which is wound onto the foundation material which is then twisted. Often, some handmade rugs use a slightly uneven weaving process. These types of rugs should be bought based on the appearance of the rug and not the actual material it is made out of.
When purchasing handmade rugs, one should always be aware of the weight of the rug. If the item is being purchased as a gift or for someone’s home, it is wise to purchase a heavier-weight yarn. Lighter-weight yarns are more manageable and tend to make finer textiles which are good for smaller spaces. Those who are purchasing the rug for someone’s bedroom should also be aware of the number of knots per square inch. Although most machine made rugs use the same number of knots per square inch, synthetic fibers can have more knotting per square inch.