What Makes a Handmade Rug, Handmade rugs are highly demanded in the home design industry. The rug is the missing puzzle of your room, binding all the decor items together by a rich, conceptual, and eye-catching pattern. Aside from giving an appealing look to the room, they give a distinct character to your home with culture, history, and stories that are knotted in each of their piles.
With the advance of technology in recent years, machines have replaced human labor in many areas. The work of machines is precise and programmable, but there is no character, creativity, and soul. That’s why despite the tremendous progress in automation and robotics, there are still many areas in which machines lose them to humans, especially art.
Although machines have entered the rug industry and so-called Power Loom machines produce machine-made rugs in less than an hour. But these rugs are quite different from the handmade ones. This article will give you a clear picture of handmade and machine-made rugs and why handmade rugs gain much higher value over time.
How Does a Machine-Made Rug Look and Feel?
The machine-made rugs are made of artificial materials such as polypropylene, nylon, polyester, acrylic, and viscose [aka artificial silk]. Rug producers use plastic-based materials to cut costs, and they’re more elastic and suitable for Power Loom machines. The dyes are also all chemical-based for the same reason as the material.
The patterns are most of the time mimicked from the handmade rugs by computer programs, so their pixel-looking curves and patterns are easily detectable. The piles are even because unlike the handmade rug, they all have been cut at the end of the production line at once. The fringe is also attached to the ends of the rug after the production without any connection to the rug’s foundation. It is more of a decorative matter than an essential part of the rug.
Benefits of Machine-Made Rugs
As the machine-made rugs are mass-produced, the production process is quick and low-cost. That gives the producers more opportunity to break the rules of rug design and patterns. For instance, you could never convince a rug weaver to produce a rug with Sponge Bob or Batman’s images for your kid’s room. But the customized designs are warmly welcomed by machine-made rugs. You could have a variety of taboo-breaking patterns and designs at a reasonably affordable price.
What Makes Handmade Rugs Different?
Unlike machine-made rugs being mass-produced goods, handmade rugs are one-of-a-kind artworks. The production process could last from months to years. Each pile is knotted by hand, according to a pattern that is designed to represent the great story of a culture. In other words, handmade rugs are knotted paintings that lay on the floor.
The plant-based dyes and natural materials give them far more durability. While machine-made rugs last a maximum of 20 years, handmade rugs have the potential to pass through your descendants as a legacy of your taste in fine art.
Materials and Color In The Handmade Rugs
Material is paramount, as it’s the answer when people ask, “What is this made of?”. Handmade rugs consist of natural materials such as wool, cotton, and silk. So it’s safe to say these rugs are crafted to last, and they are proven to remain good-as-new if appropriately maintained.
The dyes are natural, durable, and vivid, and they won’t fade as time passes by. The dye of machine-made rugs, on the other hand, consists of chemicals and breaks down quickly in exposure to sunlight. That’s why the difference between a handmade and machine-made rug is quite noticeable.
Could machine-made rugs replace handmade ones someday?
In the best scenario, a machine-made rug can be a high-copy of handmade. Machine-made rugs are mass-produced, so they have no uniqueness to bring value to them. Machines are the soulless programmable tools that can never create the artistry, uniqueness, and value of handmade rugs. They can act as an affordable alternative to the handmade Persian and Oriental rugs, but they can not replace them.
The fringe and edges are quite different.
Fringe is made of warp threads of the handmade rug and helps strengthen their construction. But the fringe on the machine-made rugs are attached to the rug after finishing the construction, and they do nothing but make the rug look better.
The edges on a handmade rug are overcast by hand, while machines stitch the machine-made rug edges.
Type of the handmade rugs
Handmade rugs are constructed in three different ways:
- Hand-Knotted Rug
- Hand-Tufted Rug
- Flat Weave Rug
These rugs are one-of-a-kind fabrics knotted entirely by hand on a loom. Popular hand-knotted rugs include Oriental and Persians. These rugs consist of natural materials, such as wool, cotton, and silk. They come with a soothing and soft texture.
The hand-tufted handmade are made by hand and partially by a mechanical tool called a “gun” by pressing each strand with a fabric sheet. The rug production is finished with a second cloth attached to the back to hold the threads in place. This type of rug usually is made of wool.
This process does not require much time and professional skills.
Flat Weave Rug
These are flat as they have no pile, which usually gives other rugs their thickness and texture. Good examples of flat-woven rugs are Kilim rugs. Placing a rug pad under these hand-woven rugs is highly recommended to ensure it stays in place. Hand-woven rugs are often referred to as “flat weaves” because of their flat look.
They are made just like how baskets are made, which means that the front and rear look the same, and you could rotate them anytime you wanted. The signature of these rugs is that they have no piles and knots.
As already discussed, machine-made rugs have no artistic value, so they do not have a collection value as well. The reason behind it is that they have no character and uniqueness as mass-produced items. Also, they usually do not last longer than 10-20 years, and that also depends on the quality and synthetic material used.
That’s why an art collector would never think of machine-made rugs while gathering the items.
To sum up, handmade rugs are made of natural materials and dyes. There are precious one-of-a-kind artworks that last for generations and do not lose value over time and gain even more. On the other hand, the machine-made rug is an affordable choice for those looking for unusual and customized patterns.
Khazai Rugs in Louisville, KY, is the best place to explore a massive collection of more than 7000 artistic and magical handmade rugs gathered from all over the world.
Our staff has been born and raised around the rug industry, and they have the richest experience to help you find the right rug for your sweet home. Visit our website to find out more about the fabulous rugs we offer and don’t hesitate to give us a call for a free consultation.