What makes a rug?
The basic constructions of a rug are hand knotted, hand tufted, heatset and machine made. They all have their own unique look and feel. Here's what you need to know.
Hand Knotted Rugs
As the name suggests, a hand knotted rug is woven completely by hand on a special loom. These rugs are one of a kind and depending on the complexity of the pattern, can take up to a year to make. A lot of skill is required to make a hand knotted rug and this is reflected in the price, but no other rug has quite the same luxurious look and feel.
So, how do you know if your rug is handmade? Flip it over and see if the design is the same on both sides. Hand knotted rugs don't have a backing so it will appear as though you can flip it over and use it on either side. A hand knotted rug will also usually have a fringe as there is no binding on the ends. Oriental and Persian rugs are two of the most popular types of hand knotted rug. Other features include:
- more expensive but will hold their value
- made from natural materials like wool, cotton, jute, bamboo and silk
- will typically have a flatter pile with less texture
- the higher the density (number of knots per square inch) the higher the quality of the rug and the more durable
- the average weaver can tie about 10,000 knots per day
Hand Tufted Rugs
Hand tufted rugs are partially made by hand and a tufting gun. This mechanized tool punches individual yarns through a fabric sheet. Once the design has been completed a second fabric is glued to the back to keep all the yarns in place. A fringe is also added either with glue or stitches. This process does not require the same level of skill that hand weaving does. Other features of hand tufted rugs include:
- back side of the rug is blank
- less durable but can still be expected to last if cared for properly
- great if you are on a budget, need to buy multiple rugs or like to keep up with trends
Machine Made Rugs
Machine made rugs are budget rugs designed to be changed every few years. They are made by large machines called power looms. Quick and easy to produce, machine made rugs are produced in large quantities for a mass market. Overall, the quality and longevity of machine made rugs are lower but they are much cheaper.
If you have young children prone to or pets, machine made rugs make a smart choice because you won't have to worry about spills and mess. Hand knotted rugs are beautiful but not always practical. Features of machine made rugs include:
- low production costs
- cheap to replace
- ideal for outdoors or high traffic areas
- good for messy pets and children
- easy to maintain
Heat set polypropylene rugs (HSPP) are hard-wearing and cost-effective rugs that also look great! HSPP rugs can have a similar look and feel to wool because of their plush fibres but they are far easier to care for. They are also much cheaper. HSPP rugs tend not to fade with time and are resistant to liquid spills because the fibres do not absorb liquids.
They make up a large portion of our range and for good reason. Some of the features of a heatset rug include:
- good quality and long lasting
- hold their colour well
- water resistant
- mould and mildew resistant