What is the difference between all these different types of rugs that are offered? There are machine woven rugs, hand tufted rugs, and hand knotted rugs. So how do you know which is which and what quality each rug is and their benefits and pitfalls?
Well suffice it to say you are in good hands. With over fifteen years of solid experience in the rug industry including ten years of working for Oriental Weavers any questions you may have about area rugs may be easily answered.
Hand knotted rugs are the high end of the rug assortment due to the amount of time involved in creating the rugs along with the amount of skill required to produce such rugs.
There are many different types of knots, just like there are many different types of sailor's knots. They usually vary by region of the world, and are passed on from generation to generation, each rug craftsperson emulating what the previous generation had done.
When a hand knotted rug is finished, it is often the result of several months of effort, with larger rugs composed of smaller knot taking the greatest amount of time to complete. Rugs in certain parts of the world such as Afghanistan are sometimes made in the home. For instance, many women in Afghanistan earn their living by knotting rugs on frames set up in their living room. Due to cultural guidelines, women are discouraged from working outside the home and must sell their rugs through a male rug finisher/broker. The process is meant to respect the conservative religious culture that is strongly adhered to in Afghanistan.
Other major areas that we purchase hand knotted rugs from include India and China. With the increasing quantity of goods coming from both these areas, quality was at one time a concern. However in more recent years, rug suppliers have hired brokers to conduct random quality checks of rug knotting facilities as well as sampling rugs from a container bound for the United States to ensure the quality of the rugs are in keeping with the rug supplier's standards.
As you consider rugs for the home, be mindful of the hand knotted category. The rugs contained therein are some of the most elegant and breathtaking pieces available to mankind. Consider passing rugs down from generation to generation-each piece crafted by an artisan that takes great pride in their craft.
Until next time, good rug shopping to you.