The broad variety of rugs available nowadays has many advantages. It makes it easier for you to find what you’re looking for, and it helps you get the perfect rug without going over-budget. But there’s a downside: you might come across rugs that do not deliver quality for their price.
Evaluating the quality of a rug is not as complicated as it seems. You just need to pay attention to a few key features.
There are three primary weaving methods used to create a rug.
- Machine-made: These are made by electronically powered machines, and the difference in quality between different brands of rugs is significant. While some machine-woven rugs do offer good quality and last for many years, it’s a good idea to know what you are buying ahead of time. In many cases, these rugs are not collectible and don’t have the same value over time as handmade rugs.
- Hand-tufted: These are also considered machine-made. The pile is inserted in a cloth base using a drill, and the back is covered in latex to hold the pile together. They can combine loop and cut pile to give the pattern more depth.
- Hand-made rugs: As their name shows, they’re knotted by hand on a traditional loom by inserting knots into the rug’s foundation. Unlike machine-made rugs, these are made only with natural fibers like cotton, wool, jute, and silk, and often last for generations.
The best way to tell apart a handmade and a machine-made rug is by looking at the back. Machine-made rugs show a faded pattern on the back, while the back of a handmade rug has a brighter, more defined pattern. The fringes and edges of a machine-made rug are applied and sewn to the rug afterward, but they are part of the foundation of hand-made rugs.
Another aspect to take into consideration is knot density. While a lower density does not necessarily mean lower quality, it does help to make to rug more durable. If your rug has over 330 knots per square inch, you can be sure you have a high-quality rug.
The best rugs are made by adult artisans. Some Oriental rugs are made using child labor to keep prices low, but they don’t have the same quality. If you’re concerned about this issue, you can find more information here.
The better the materials the rug is made of, the better the results will be. The colors will be brighter, and the rug will be sturdier and more durable.
Some of the best materials are silk and wool, and luckily their quality is easy to asses. When it comes to silk, just take one strand of the silk fabric and burn it. If it’s real silk, it’ll smell like burning hair. The best-quality wool has some luster to it, but not to the point of being shiny.
With so many options of rugs available, you might find products that do not deliver what they promise. In most cases, highest quality means highest prices. But you can also find affordable options that may last for many years, just as long as you pay attention to the traits of a good rug.