5 ways to tell if a rug was handmade or made using a machine

If you’re shopping for a rug for your home it’s important that you know how to identify the differences between handmade and machine-made rugs so that you always know what it is that you’re buying. Handmade woven rugs are usually more expensive than machine-made rugs because of the skill with which they’re crafted and the high quality and longevity of the product. We’ve put together a brief guide on how to tell whether a rug has been handmade or machine-made.

Does it have a tag on the back?

If your rug has a tag attached to the back of it then it has probably been made using a machine.  Handmade rugs very rarely feature a tag of any kind.

What material is it made form?

Handmade rugs are usually made using wool and other natural materials.  If your rug has been made using manmade, synthetic fibres like polyester and nylon then it has probably been made using a machine.

Where was it made?

A lot of rugs that have been produced in Western Europe like Belgium and Italy are produced using a machine.  Genuine handmade rugs are usually produced in countries like Iran, Turkey, China, Nepal, Pakistan and India.

Is the fringe sewn on?

Take a look at the fringe on your rug.  Has it been sewn on separately or is it part of the rug?  If the fringe is part of the rug then your rug is probably handmade, if it has been sewn or glued or separately then this is a sure sign that your rug has been machine-made.

Examine the back of the rug

If you compare the back of a handmade rug with the back of a machine-made rug there are some obvious differences.  The edges on a handmade rug may not be perfectly straight and when you look at the back you may be able to make out some white knots.  The back of a machine-made rug usually has white lines running all over the back of the rug from one end to the other, these are the foundation yarns and they don’t appear on handmade rugs.
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