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Hand Made vs Machine-Made Rugs

Persian rugs created by machines are equally as lovely but more affordable if you have a limited budget. Although they don’t last as long as hand-crafted carpets (which can last for centuries with the right care), if you choose one produced from real wool and care for it properly over the years, they can nevertheless have a lengthy lifespan.

A machine-knotted rug doesn’t compare to an authentic Persian rug in terms of the time, skill, and craftmanship required to deliver the final piece. Although machine-made can look very similar to a Persian rug, the mastery needed to create an authentic Persian rug makes it substantially more valuable. For connoisseurs and those who appreciate the art of rugs, nothing can compete with the beauty and soul of a one-of-a-kind hand knotted rug, with imperfections that add to both its authenticity and value.

In the not so distant past, cheaply made machine made rugs were considered inferior to a handmade rug. The handmade rugs from the century-old Persian master weavers were incomparable in design, use of natural fibres, coloured dyes, craftsmanship, and sheer beauty. The area they came from, design, and the weave density affected the prices. Persian rugs often denoted wealth, status, and good taste.

However, the new generation of machine made rugs come in greater varieties and – in some cases – better quality than a hand knotted rug. Synthetic fibres like polyester and bamboo silk are fantastic for rugs, making them more durable with a great feel and visual appeal. These are sometimes blended with natural wools, cottons, or silks, adding to the overall quality and price.

Machine-knotted rugs can be made quickly. Today, thanks to technological advances, machine-made carpets offer excellent quality – and with constant innovation, their quality is improving year-on-year. In fact, it can be extremely difficult to differentiate between an authentic Persian rug and a machine-made rug. However, while the quality may be comparable, the value is not. Some unscrupulous traders may attempt to pass a machine-made rug off as a Persian rug. The problem here is that the resale value of a hand-knotted, genuine Persian rug is outstanding, while a machine-made rug offers little to no resale value.

Buyers should be cautious when purchasing a high-value rug. Although there used to be clear telltale signs that a rug is machine-made, with the high-end machines used today it has become increasingly difficult to determine the difference. At Heriz Gallery, our expert staff will give you an honest appraisal of every rug, guaranteeing you have peace of mind and know exactly what it is you’re buying.

How to tell if a rug is machine-made or handmade

  • Turn the rug over and if the pattern is as visible on the reverse as it is on the front, the rug is hand-knotted.
  • Bend the rug backwards to expose its pile’s roots. A rug is hand-knotted if you can discern row after row of knots at the base of the pile’s tufts or roots.
There are two types of machine-knotted rugs
  • The first type of machine-knotted rug is made by a large machine called a power loom. This is a computer-controlled, electronically mechanized loom. These looms enable the production of many carpets with the same design simultaneously.
  • The second type of machine-knotted rug is known as a hand-tufted rug. It is created using a combination of machine-knots and hand-knots. A design is painted onto a rug and a worker uses a tool to push different coloured wool strands through the canvas until the design is complete. The rug is finished by gluing a backing onto the back of the canvas to prevent the design from coming apart.