Everything You’ll Need to Know to Find the Perfect Rug
People walk all over area rugs from a design standpoint, ignoring them or placing them as an afterthought. Area rugs are an integral piece of your space.
While many area rugs are still made using ancient techniques and materials, contemporary technologies allow us to manufacture durable rugs out of an 80-to-20 ratio of blended natural and synthetic fibers. Of these fibers, modern rug makers produce three main types of rugs: machine-made, hand-tufted and hand-knotted.
When you’re shopping for the best rug for you, know that not all area rugs are constructed in the same way. Many area rugs are made with specific purposes in mind and work well in certain spaces. At Furnitureland South, we want you to make an educated decision about which type of rug works for your needs. Let’s look at the most common types of rugs.
Machine-made rugs are constructed on power looms. Production on computer-controlled machines adds up to less-expensive labor, faster turnout and precision in detail. You will find wool machine-made rugs, but synthetic fibers are predominant.
Although machine-made rugs are generally not intended for long-term use, they are the best rugs for style and a starting point price. Due to quick production, machine-made rugs are ideal for showcasing current trends and designs, and computerized precision makes them as gorgeous and intricate as any handmade rug. Depending on the style, aesthetic and feel, machine-made area rugs may be placed anywhere in your home.
Rug Tip: To know if a rug is machine-made, flip a corner over and look for similar colors as the rug design that’s only covered by a coarse backing that secures the fibers.
Hand-tufting is the most common method for creating rugs. These rugs are crafted by hand using a technique known as fiber punching. The material is punched through a backing using a tufting gun, creating the pile — the strands of fabric that form a rug’s surface. Latex is then used to apply a secondary backing, typically made of canvas.
In general, hand-tufted rugs are thick and plush, but they require a bit more maintenance. Similar to machine-made rugs, tufted rugs provide current trends at a price that allows more frequent replacement once the rug is worn or the trend has passed.
Rug Tip: To know if a rug is hand-tufted, flip a corner over and look for the canvas backing that’s applied with an adhesive to hold the fibers together. Be aware that hand-tufted rugs do shed.
The main difference between a hand-tufted rug and a hooked rug is the level of detail. Hooked area rugs utilize smaller loops and use more fibers to create a fuller texture.
Hand-knotted rugs are the tried-and-true epitome of quality. Each hand-knotted rug will have unique characteristics based on factors such as country of origin, the knot used and fiber type. Most hand-knotted rugs will be made of wool, though other fibers such as silk and jute can be found. To create a hand-knotted rug, strands of dyed wool yarn are literally woven into a crisscrossed backing called the warp and weft, often made of cotton and jute, then clipped to create the pile.
Hand-knotted rugs are often timeless in style and generally require very little maintenance. Wool hand-knotted rugs perform extremely well in high-traffic areas and when cared for properly, their build quality ensures heirloom potential for generations. It used to be that if you were looking for handmade wool rugs, you were shopping for Oriental rugs or Persian rugs.
Rug Tip: To know if a rug is hand-knotted, flip a corner over and look for individual knots that reveal the rugs overall design and color.
Why are Hand-Knotted Rugs so Great?
Do you want a rug that will last? Do you want a rug that doesn’t shed or pill? You may be looking for a hand-knotted rug. Hand-knotted area rugs are made to last, and it’s a common misconception that they’re terribly expensive. While they may cost more money upfront, they’ll save you money over time because you won’t have to replace them time after time.
Hand-knotted rugs are durable rugs. They aren’t delicate, yet we’ve mentally correlated the terms “hand-made” and “delicate.” In fact, the opposite is true for rugs. Hand-knotted rugs require incredible skill and patience to create. This adds immense value to hand-knotted rugs, along with the material quality used.
The quality and cost aren’t directly determined by the number of knots per square inch, but by the time allotted for labor and the material quality used. Rug and linens are much the same in this matter. The largest measure of value for a hand-knotted rug is the grade of wool used and how that wool was handled. Think about it. You can tie thousands of knots, but if the wool has a short staple and is brittle, the overall rug quality will be compromised — regardless of how many knots are tied.
Often people choose cheaper rug versions and are disappointed with how their rooms look and how the rug performs because they weren’t well-informed. There is a way to avoid this discontent — just ask our Rug Gallery Specialists.
If you’ve heard of Oriental rugs or Persian rugs, you’ve heard of hand-knotted area rugs. These terms originated years ago as a reference to the best rugs made by hand in weaving centers around the Far East including Iran, Turkey and China. However, Oriental rugs and Persian rugs are now more commonly used as a description of style, one that’s often equated with intricate patterns and saturated colors. Don’t be fooled! The hand-knotted market has evolved and is certainly not limited to these Oriental rug styles. You can get updated looks without sacrificing quality!
As the world’s largest furniture store, we carry over 1,000 brands that offer a huge selection of rugs for your home. We carry all kinds of rugs — from everyday styles to the best of the best, luxury designs. That means you’re sure to find the rugs you love! Want to begin your rugs shopping online? Create a digital wish list for your dream home at Furnitureland South!
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