So what is the difference between the least costly rug and the most costly rug, and everything in between?
There are a few basic fundamentals to an area rug that results in a change of cost. They include:
There was a time when area rugs made of wool were the most costly. The fiber is naturally occurring and required a good deal of labor to become production ready. The significant number of extra steps needed to make wool usable also made it more costly. In an effort to make area rugs more affordable, fiber companies began to invent new fibers that were meant to emulate wool as much as possible. When introduced in the 1980's and 1990's these synthetic fibers were less costly than they are now since the cost of the petroleum was lower than it is now.
In time the sheep farmers realized that they had competition and brought down the cost of their fiber through their own innovations. As a result, the cost of better end synthetics (nylon) and lower end wools (non-New Zealand Wool) crossed.
The order of fibers by quality (and therefore cost) are:
1) New Zealand Wool (best)
10)Wool & Silk
There are several different ways that an area rug can be made. The more labor intensive the process, the more costly the rug. Originally, area rugs were made by hand. Rugs were knotted and may have taken several craftspeople over a year to complete a single room size rug. As demand for area rugs increased, the industry began to look for ways to speed up production and get more rugs with less workers. As a result, several production methods were created, some less costly than others. The most desirable area rugs are knotted by hand. Hand knotted rugs are the most durable and long lasting area rugs out there. The challenge is that cost often makes them prohibitive for some consumers. That is where machine woven rugs come into play. Machine woven rugs can look similar to hand knotted rugs but cost significantly less. In order of desirability-see the following construction types:
1) Hand Knotted
2) Machine Woven
3) Power loomed
4) Hand tufted
6) Machine Tufted
7) Hand hooked
Hopefully this bit of information makes it easier for you to determine why some rugs cost quite a bit more than others. Until next time thank you for reading, and have a great time browsing around. Oh, if you are interested in more information about New Zealand Wool, you can easily read about it here.