Rugs are either machine produced or handmade.
MACHINE MADE RUGS: These are power loomed on machines and are mass-produced. Best way to tell whether a rug is machine made or handmade is to look at the fringe. On a machine made rug, the fringe is usually just attached or sewn at the back, while a handmade rug is made with the fringe as its foundation and it is a part of the rug. Secondly, machine made rugs will be perfect, while the handmade rug will show many flaws including slight crookedness, inconsistency in the design and other mistakes. Machine made rugs are usually made of synthetic materials but there are wool rugs also available.
HANDMADE RUGS: Amongst the handmade rugs, there are two basic types: Flat weave and knotted. Other categories of handmade rugs are gun tufted, hooked, soumak, needlepoint, and chain-stitched rugs. The best rugs are either hand woven or hand knotted.
If a rug is listed simply as “hand made”, make sure you know more about how it was made because hand tufted, or hand hooked rugs are hand made, but they are not as finely made and durable as the hand knotted or hand woven rugs. So just the “hand made” label is not enough to make your decision. A tufted, stitched, or hooked rug may be the right one for your needs, but you must make that decision with the exact knowledge of what you are buying, and it must cost only a small fraction of the hand knotted rugs. The tufted rugs usually have a cloth or canvas type material on the back to hide the glue they use to hold the fibers in place.
A COMPARISON BETWEEN HANDMADE & MACHINE MADE RUGS: Machine made rugs do not have most of the advantages that fine handmade rugs have. For example, a good handmade rug should last for a century or even two if properly taken care of. Handmade rugs can be repaired, even entire portion re woven or knotted and almost any damage can be fixed. This is not the case in their machine made counter parts. A fine handmade rug will age beautifully and usually appreciate in value over a long period of time. Machine made rugs do not enjoy such longevity or appreciation.
ADVANTAGES OF HANDMADE RUGS: No furnishing or decor can match the value, functionality, durability, and beauty that fine handmade rugs give their owners. A good handmade rug will last for generations, age beautifully, appreciate over time, become an heirloom, be a magnificent combination of function, beauty and value. They are true works of art that you live on- it is what one can say: “Walk on art”.