We all dream of having a home of our dreams, which we can decorate, style, and bring to life. But, no decoration is complete without a beautiful area rug. These not just help in making the place more personalized but add a touch of color and warmth to any area.

However, it can be an overwhelming experience to choose an area rug as the market is full of umpteen options. There are hand knotted, hand tufted, and then the machine-made rugs.

Wondering, what is the difference?

As customers, we all want to know what we are getting in return for the amount we are investing. Therefore, in this guide, we will discuss the difference between handmade rugs and machine-made rugs.

Handmade Rugs

As the name suggests, handmade rugs require skilled artisans who know the art of knotting each thread on a loom using the wefts and wraps hand knotting technique to create a beautiful texture and design. These are very different from decorative floor rugs because not everyone knows the art of making rugs. Each handmade rug takes days, months, or even years of hard work and dedication to become a final product depending on its size & shape.

When talking about features, handmade rugs are very durable and long-lasting. Their unique designs and authenticity made them a perfect ethnic accessory for your home décor. One very important characteristic of handmade rugs is that they can be customized into different shapes like flat, round, square, oval, etc.

Types of handmade rugs

There are many types of handmade rugs that include knotted rugs, flatweave rugs, hand tufted rugs, and a few more. Apart from these, there are few other categories of handmade rugs such as soumak, gun tufted, hooked, chain-stitched, and needlepoint rugs.

1. Knotted rugs

Knotted rugs also follow the old weaving technique by hand, containing piles, knots, and raised surfaces between the warp and weft. These rugs are weaved in different styles like Oriental, Persian, Ziegler, and a few more. These rugs are made as per the density of piles and knots. Knotted rugs are durable, soft, and stain-resistant, making them perfect for the kitchen, kids’ play area, and outdoors.

2. Flatweave rugs

As the name suggests, Flatweave rugs are made without knots using one of the oldest and historic techniques. These ethnic rugs are made by weaving the fibers vertically and horizontally to create a single sturdy piece. These rugs are quite thin and do not have piles on them. They are very simple to look at but are highly durable and can add an ethnic look to your space. These rugs have a soft feel and look great on hardwood floors. They are mostly woven from natural fibers like cotton, wool, and jute, making them perfect for living areas, dining spaces, and the kitchen.

3. Hand Tufted rugs

Hand Tufted rugs are made by partially using hands and partially using mechanized tools. These rugs are made from wool by piercing wool strands in a canvas stretched on a frame using tools operated by hands or a tufting gun.  This process is not very time-consuming and does not require the skills of hand knotted rugs. After the rug’s design is complete, it is removed from the frame and attached to a base fabric by sewing or gluing.

4. Hand Knotted Loom rugs

Hand knotted loom rugs, typically known as hand loomed rugs, are woven by hand on a vertical loom with a mounted wrap. These rugs do not have any secured ends or fringes and are made by pressing various fiber strands using thin threads.  Hand knotted looms can be woven into Loom-knotted back, Single back, or double back. Loomed rugs have a loose back and need a strong base to keep them from losing shape and make them sturdy.

5. Hand Braided rugs

Hand braided rugs are made by knotting the fibers into a long braid and then stitching them to make different shapes. The most interesting part about hand braided rugs is that they are very colorful and are reversible. These rugs are great to be placed on hardwood or marble floorings and are mostly made using wool or silk.

Machine-made rugs

Literal to their name, machine-made rugs are manufactured by a computer programmed and electronically automated machines. These rugs are quicker, easier, and cheaper to make as they do not involve the handmade rugs’ hard work and creativity. The 2D, 3D, and 4D animators create various patterns and insert them into computer-operated weaving machines.

These rugs are forged by large machines called power looms that wrap the threats of their fibers around the foundation and press them together. Unlike handmade rugs, machine-made rugs look very identical and even. There is no variation between their threads and knots, and they are very clean and uniformed.

How to differentiate between handmade rugs and machine-made rugs

We have listed down three main factors that will help you determine the difference between a handmade rug and a machine-made rug.

1. Border of the rugs

The characteristics of fringes or tassels at the outline of a rug can help you understand whether a rug is handmade or machine-made. If they look like extensions of the rug, then it is handmade, and if they are stitched to the rug, they are machine-made. However, with the advancement of technology, highly innovative machines have come to make rugs with fringes or tassels.

2. Finishing of the edges

The finishing or uniformity at the edge of the rug can also help differentiate between the two. It is definitely machine-made if you see a surging or binding at the edge of a rug because handmade rugs do not have any visible stitches.

3. Back of the rug

Observing the backside of a rug is one of the easiest ways to find out whether it is machine-made or handmade. If the rug’s back is uneven and very detailed, then it is a sign that every knot is artistically done by hand. In comparison, a machine-made rug will be even from both sides and will not have any loops or uneven texture at the back.

How to take care of handmade rugs?

There is no denying the fact that handmade rugs are very durable and can last for years, but you need to care them a little to enhance their life and make them look young. Mentioned below are few tips that you can follow:

1. Using Vaccum

Regularly vacuum your rug to remove all the dirt and dust from its surface. A dirty rug can age very soon as piles of dust can lead to wear and tear. However, you must be careful of the vacuum cleaner attachments and always use a plain vacuum nozzle to clean the carpet.

2. Rotate the rug

Regularly vacuum your rug to remove all the dirt and dust from its surface. A dirty rug can age very soon as piles of dust can lead to wear and tear. However, you must be careful of the vacuum cleaner attachments and always use a plain vacuum nozzle to clean the carpet.

3. Placing pads

Another way to prevent your rug from wearing out is to place pads under the rug. This will prevent the rug from slipping and prolong its life by giving it a soft and cushioning effect. It will also provide comfort to your bare feet while walking on a padded rug.

4. Cleaning the spots

In circumstances where there is a spot on your rug due to food spillage or any other reason, it must be treated immediately. Never wait for the spill to dry and avoid brushing the area. This can cause more damage to the rug and spread the spot to other areas. You must use a white kitchen towel to soak in as much liquid as you can from the spot. Now sponge the area with a mild shampoo or a homemade solution of water, liquid detergent, and white vinegar. After the spillage os clear, clean the rug with a fresh sponge and clean water. Use an absorbent towel to soak in all the moisture and let it dry under the fan.

5. Occasional Laying the rug under the sun

Another way to clean rugs is to place them under the sun. This will help dry up any moisture that the rug has soaked in and kill the bacterias or fungus inside the rug. Also, there are a lot of water or clear liquid stains that will vanish when you dry the rug under the sun. This technique is great for delicate rugs made from high-quality wool or silk.

6. Professional Cleaning

If the stain on your rug is dark and very deep, please take professional help. There are specialized dry cleaners who can take care of your area rugs and cure those ugly stains.

FAQ about handmade vs Machine-Made Rugs

Q1. Which rug design will be more efficient?

A: Handmade rugs tell our ancient civilization, culture, stories, and background, seeing which we get inspiration and learn something from our handicrafts artists. It looks perfect, and its versatile design makes it even more attractive. On the other hand, machine-made rugs tell us to overcome evolution, industrialization, and urbanization. The machine-made rug is good to look at the back of the carpet. The back of such rugs will be versatile and even.

Q2. Which materials will use for both of these?

A: A handmade rug is exceptional because the artwork has been crafted by hands and is made of valuable and high-quality wool and silk. Whereas machine-made rugs are generally made of synthetic materials like polyester and nylon.

Q3. Which rugs are time-consuming?

A: Handmade rugs are very time-consuming because they require many artisans and handicrafts to make them. Machine-made rugs will produce rugs faster, and it saves a lot of time.

Q4. Which rugs are more eco-friendly and natural?

A: Handmade rugs are eco-friendly, natural, and very sturdy. You can use them in high traffic areas of your home like the living room or kitchen. On the other hand, machine rugs are not environmentally friendly because they are made of synthetic materials. The carbon dioxide produced by the power looms is very harmful to health.

Q5. Where can handmade rugs be used?

A: All handmade rugs can be placed in living room, kitchen, entrace of the home, as a wall hanging, below the staircase, or any area where there is traffic.

Q6. What is the life of handmade rugs?

A: Handmade rugs are very strong and durable and can last for ages (between 5 to 60 years). However, their life also depends on the care that you take of them.

Q7. Does handmade rugs need padding below them?

A: It is not necessary, but using a soft pad below your rug will increase its life and prevent it from slipping. It will also keep your rug safe while vacuuming or moving the furniture on the rug.

Q8. What are the types and sizes of handmade or machine-made rugs?

The size and shape of both of them are very similar. The rugs can be woven in any shape and size, both by handmade and machine-made technique, but the following are considered standard sizes in a rectangular shape.

  • 3×5
  • 4×6
  • 5×8
  • 6×9
  • 7×10
  • 8×10
  • 8×11
  • 9×12
  • 10×13