Are you looking to add a new rug to your home décor? Are you overwhelmed with the plethora of choices available? Are you unable to decide which kind of rug best suits your home needs? Fear not! Allow us to make things a wee bit simple for you.
The market today is bursting with a wide variety of rugs that range from artisan quality hand knotted rugs, versatile hand-tufted rugs, handmade flatweaves and hooked rugs to machine made flooring delights. It is not easy to navigate this terrain without knowinghow rugs are made and how they are not created equals. Once you grasp the basics, it shall be a smooth sailing for sure.
HAND KNOTTED RUGS
Let us begin with the crowning jewel of the rug world, the Hand Knotted rugs. Bespoke of ageless charm and ancient weaving techniques, the hand knotted rugs enjoy an illustrious past and continue to reign supreme. Made on vertical loom, hand knotted rug is birthed through intricate processes of technique, design and craft. Columns of yarns stretch from end to end of the vertical loom to form the foundation of the rug. They are called warps. Individual knots are tied to these warp yarns. The end of these knots form the pile of the rug. These knots are then secured by horizontal yarns called the wefts. Just imagine, how painstakingly the weaver must tie the knots to create elaborate designs and patterns and how time consuming it all must be. Once completed, the edgings of the rug are secured to prevent unravelling, the pile shorn to a uniform finish and the rug washed to discard stray yarns and achieve luster. A hand knotted rug takes anywhere from a couple of months to a few years to complete, depending on the kind and number of knots and design used. No wonder why hand knotted rugs command higher price tags! With a sturdy and lasting construction, all hand knotted rugs easily have a life span of 10-25 years while the heirloom ones survive upwards of 100 years.
HAND TUFTED RUGS
Hand Tufted rugs, on the other hand, are of newer origins. While the hand tufted rugs may look like hand knotted ones, the process that creates them is totally different. Hand Tufted rugs are created without using knots. Loops of yarns are pulled through a canvas that forms the rug foundation, using a handheld equipment called the tufting gun. The canvas, stretched on a loom, has a design outline that must be filled in. Once complete and off the loom, the loops are cut to create a smooth pile and a second backing is attached to hold the yarns in place. While it is handmade, it is not labor intensive like hand knotted rugs and thus less time consuming to make. Consequently, the rugs are affordable and easy on the pocket. Any standard hand tufted rugs lasts 3-6 years whereas premium quality rug lasts up to 6-10 years.
Flatweave rugs refer to rugs which use a specific technique of weaving that does not require knots. The technique manifests an interlacing of warp strands, that serve as foundation for the rug, with weft strands and produces no pile.The proliferation of patterns, designs and colors emerges from different variations like slit weave, dovetailing weave, weft-faced patterning and weft wrapping.Whether they be Kilims from Turkey, North Africa, the Middle East or Asia or Dhurries from India, these flatweave rugs exude an earthy charm and are versatile to match the ever-changing trends in home décor.
Needlepoint rugs are another example of pileless floor textiles.Needlepoint rugs are woven on open grid cotton fabric, “canvas” with sewing needle and wool yarn. Such a canvas allows for incredible detail and endless variation in design and motifs. Created with millions of hand stitches, complex shading and industrious detail, each needlepoint rug is a work of art. Needlepoint rugs add instant glamor to any room and can be used to suit different styles of décor. Aubusson rugs with their timeless designs and ageless appeal are a good example of this rug type.
MACHINE MADE RUGS
While not of artisanal quality, machine made rugs are mass produced using a power loom. As a result, machine made rugs are never one-of-a-kind heirloom treasure meant to be passed on to our progeny. They often cost a fraction of what artisanal rugs mentioned above cost and can be changed at your own whim and fancy.
So now you know that all rugs are not equal. Artisanal one-of-a-kind rugs cost more because of the time-consuming craftsmanship involved in making them. Be aware of these differences and you are halfway to finding your perfect rug.