How To Tell If a Rug is Handmade

To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to identify the difference between a handmade, hand-knotted, and machine- made rug. To help ensure you are purchasing an authentic handmade rug, we’ve put together this guide to help you recognise the differences. We hope this allows you to make an informed decision when finding your perfect rug.

Check the underside of the rug

One of the best ways to tell if your rug is handmade rather than machine made is by checking the back or underside of the rug. If the knots and weaving are not perfectly uniform, then you will know it’s a handmade rug. You can also distinguish the individual knots when you look at the back of the rug as when making a handmade rug, weavers manually insert the knots into the foundation of the rug and then proceed to tie each knot by hand.

Look for variations in colour

You will typically find that handmade rugs are more likely to have slight variations in colour. This is due to the method being entirely manual including the actual dyeing process. When using wool that has been dyed in different batches, this will often result in a slight variation in the colour. Whereas, with machine-made rugs, the materials used are typically dyed in a single batch and the colours will therefore be uniform throughout the rug.

Look for white grid lines and fringe

Typically, machine-made rugs will have lots of white lines on the back that are a result of them being made by computers, whereas a handmade rug will not have the same pronounced white grid lines. Also, if your rug has a fringe, you can often tell if it’s handmade by the position of the fringe and whether it looks “sewn on”. Handwoven rugs are always going to have the fringe ends as part of the yarn of the rug. The fringe of a hand-knotted rug is not an addition to the rug, rather it’s an extension of the foundation of the rug.

Don’t confuse hand-tufted with handmade

It is important to note that hand-tufted rugs aren’t the same as handmade rugs, although many can be mistaken that they are the same due to their similar look. But when you look closer, you will see there are differences between them, so don’t buy the wrong rug and be disappointed. Hand-tufted rugs are easier to make and cheap to recreate with the use of a tufting gun which brings the yarn to the back to create the tuft. Next, they glue material to the back of the rug to hold the fibres in place. Hand-tufted rugs can look similar to handmade rugs, which often makes it difficult to distinguish.

Whether you’re a collector of quality rugs or you’re interested in buying high-quality handmade rugs, vintage rugs, oriental rugs and more for your home, check out the range at Emily’s House London today. All our handmade rugs are selected for their quality and beauty and we guarantee you will find a rug that will complement your home.

If you need more help in choosing the perfect rug for your home, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Emily’s House London for more information and further advice. We are happy to help!

2 replies
  1. Muhammad Shoaib
    Muhammad Shoaib says:

    I like this blog the complete guide about handmade rugs and their material. I am going buying some rugs soon I will follow the points when buying. Thanks for sharing this blog post.


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