How can you tell if a rug is hand knotted?

If you are looking for a high-quality rug that will last for generations, then you have to ponder how to answer, how can you tell if a rug is hand knotted?

Hand knotted rugs are made by skilled artisans who tie each knot by hand on a loom, creating intricate patterns and designs. Hand knotted rugs are durable, beautiful, and unique, but they can also be expensive and hard to find. How can you tell if a rug is hand knotted or not?

Here are some tips to help you identify a genuine hand knotted rug from a machine-made or hand-tufted one.

What is a hand knotted rug?

A hand knotted rug is a type of rug that is made by weaving wool, silk, or cotton threads around the warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) threads of a loom. The pile (surface) of the rug is formed by the knots that are tied by hand at the base of each warp thread. The more knots per square inch, the finer and more valuable the rug. A hand knotted rug can take months or even years to complete, depending on the size and complexity of the design.

Hand knotted rugs are often associated with Persian and Oriental rugs, which have a long history and tradition of craftsmanship. However, hand knotted rugs can also be found in other regions and styles, such as Turkish, Moroccan, Tibetan, Indian, and Scandinavian rugs.

How to tell if a rug is hand knotted

To determine if a rug is hand knotted, you can:

  • Turn the rug upside down and closely examine the pile at the back of the rug. A true hand knotted rug is characterized by a distinct back and front, in which the front is plush, while the back reflects the same pattern and design seen in the front.
  • Look at the back of the rug. A hand knotted rug will not have a backing on it. The design is the same on both sides. It will look like you could turn it over and use it on either side, thanks to the exquisite amount of detail from the knotting. A hand knotted rug will likely have fringe because there is no binding on the ends of the carpet.
  • Look at the structure of the rug and its weave. In a hand knotted rug, the weaving and the knots will always be slightly uneven and not always exact and uniform. Some knots may be larger and some may be smaller.
  • Look at the back of each individual knot. If a rug is hand knotted, the back of each individual knot will be clearly visible.

How to tell the difference between a hand-knotted and machine made rug?

A machine-made rug is a type of rug that is produced by a machine that uses pre-programmed patterns and designs. Machine-made rugs are usually made of synthetic materials, such as nylon, polyester, or polypropylene. They have a uniform appearance and texture, and they are often cheaper and more widely available than hand knotted rugs.

To tell the difference between a hand-knotted and machine made rug, you can:

  • Check for labels or tags on the rug that indicate its origin and material. A machine-made rug will have a label that says “Made in …” or “100% …” followed by a synthetic fiber name.
  • Feel the texture of the rug. A machine-made rug will feel smooth and flat, while a hand-knotted rug will feel soft and textured.
  • Look for signs of wear and tear. A machine-made rug will wear out faster than a hand-knotted rug, especially in high-traffic areas. A machine-made rug will also fade more easily when exposed to sunlight or cleaning agents.

EARTHALL Cotton Buffalo Checkered Area Rug

It is made from cotton: This is a very durable and easy to clean rug material for high traffic places. The dining table is a high traffic area which makes this rug an ideal choice.

Hand-woven: Handmade rugs are often very durable and unique. That means this rug will serve you for many years. Discover which country makes the best rugs, especially those which are hand-woven on that post.

Farmhouse checkered design: This patterned design makes this rug easy to blend with many home décors patterns. It also makes this rug versatile such that apart from the dining area, it can also be used in outdoor spaces, living rooms, kitchen, laundry rooms, entryways, and bedrooms among other spaces in your home.

The fabric: It comes in several color shades-blue, white, grey, red, blue, and black among others. The fabric is also non-fade, durable and easily washable.

Grace period: After you buy the rug, you shall have a 30-day money-back guarantee period where you are allowed to return the rug if you don’t like it.


How do I know if my oriental rug is handmade?

An oriental rug is a type of hand-knotted rug that originates from Asia, such as Iran (Persia), Turkey, China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Nepal. Also, oriental rugs are known for their intricate designs, rich colors, and high quality.

To know if your oriental rug is handmade, you can:

  • Check for signs of authenticity.
  • Compare the front and back of the rug.
  • Count the knots per square inch.

How can I tell what my rug is made of?

The material of your rug can affect its appearance, durability, and maintenance. Rugs can be made of natural or synthetic fibers, or a combination of both.

To tell what your rug is made of, you can:

  • Read the label or tag on the rug that indicates its material and care instructions. If there is no label or tag, you can ask the seller or manufacturer for more information.
  • Perform a burn test on a small and inconspicuous area of the rug. Cut off a few strands of the rug and hold them over a flame. Natural fibers, such as wool, silk, or cotton, will burn slowly and smell like hair or paper. Synthetic fibers, such as nylon, polyester, or polypropylene, will melt and smell like plastic.
  • Feel the texture and weight of the rug. Natural fibers will feel soft and warm, while synthetic fibers will feel coarse and cold. Natural fibers will also be heavier and denser than synthetic fibers.

What are the qualities of hand-knotted rugs?

Hand-knotted rugs have many qualities that make them desirable and valuable. Some of these qualities are:

  • Durability: Hand-knotted rugs are very strong and resilient, as they are made of tightly woven knots that hold the rug together. They can last for decades or even centuries with proper care and maintenance.
  • Beauty: Hand-knotted rugs are works of art that showcase the skill and creativity of the weavers. They have intricate patterns and designs that reflect the culture and history of their origin.
  • Uniqueness: Hand-knotted rugs are one-of-a-kind pieces that cannot be replicated by machines.

Final Thought

Hand-knotted rugs are more than just floor coverings; they are investments that can enhance the beauty and value of your home. If you are looking for a hand knotted rug, you should know how to tell if a rug is hand knotted or not, so you can avoid being deceived by imitations or low-quality products. By following the tips in this article, you can identify a genuine hand knotted rug from a machine-made or hand-tufted one, and enjoy its qualities for years to come.


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