Oriental Rugs Glossary
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Why are handmade rugs usually more valuable than machine made rugs?
Knotting rugs by hand is an ancient art. Hand knotted rugs are made by hand on a special loom. Looms come in different sizes depending on the width of the rug. The weaver uses yarn threads to create knots in the rug foundation which then end up to be the rug pile. You can imagine that creating each of the millions of knots by hand is very time consuming (in fine rugs often a million knots per one square meter alone or 645 knots per square inch). Some of the very fine rugs in larger sizes take years to produce.
Hand knotted rugs can be made of wool, cotton, silk, jute, camel hair and other natural materials. Silk is sometimes used in wool rugs for highlighting patterns e.g. often in Nain or Tabriz rugs. Good quality hand knotted and hand woven rugs can last many generations which is why you don't often find antique machine made rugs in good condition. The vast majority of the traded collectibles are hand knotted and hand woven rugs. The quality of hand made rugs depends on a number of factors: the knot count, the dyes used and the yarn quality. Hand knotted rugs typically cost more, but the life span of hand made rugs is greater and therefore hand made rugs are usually better value for your money (machine made rugs usually have a life span of about 20 years or less).
Handmade rugs often allow artists to create works of art inspired by different cultures, traditions and often historic events
Since making a handmade carpet takes so much time and effort, usually the materials used are natural materials of high quality. Therefore handmade carpets will be more valuable and more likely to last a lifetime with the right care.