Is That a Machine-made Rug

Posted by admin 14/07/2015 6 Comment(s)

This page is intended to help you tell the difference between a handmade Oriental rug and a machine-made imitation.

This discussion concerns only rugs made with 100% wool as the pile material:

 

  • If a rug has a nap of polypropolene, polyolefin, or a nap made of a blend of synthetic polymers and wool, it is all but certainly a machine-made rug.
  • If a rug is identified as "a Belgium Oriental," or as having been made in Belgium, Italy, or elsewhere in western Europe, it is all but certainly a machine-made rug.
  • If a rug has a tag like this:

    It's a machine-made rug!

The situation gets more complicated with wool pile rugs made in Turkey, or Egypt, or in central European countries like Romania, Albania, and Bulgaria. All of these countries have produced at least some completely handmade Oriental rugs in the last 50 years, but all have also made large quantities of machine-made Oriental rug imitations.

This comparison picture shows, at the same scale and resolution, a brand-name 3' x 5' machine-made rug next to a 3' x 5' handwoven Kashan from India with a weave of about 140 knots per sq. in.:

Note the strong visual differences between the machine-made and handmade rugs. In particular, the back of the machine-made rug is very different in appearance from the back of the handmade rug. The design is not nearly as colorful on the back of the machine-made rug as it is on the face. Closer examination of the machine-made rug shows why this is so:

The construction of the machine-made rug is very different from the handmade Oriental. There is an overstitch pattern across the whole back of the machine-made rug. You cannot easily distinguish individual knots on the back of the machine-made rug because there aren't any--the overstich construction is what holds the pile material in place. The fringe is clearly applied to the end of the machine-made rug after it's complete, whereas the fringe of the handmade rug is actually made up of the warp strings that come out of the end of the handmade rug.

What Difference Does It Make?

Our only business is genuine Oriental rugs--we don't buy, sell, take in trade, service, or spend mental energy thinking about machine-made rugs. Our biggest complaint is the ongoing effort by machine-made manufacurers and retailers to blur the difference between their product and genuine Oriental rugs. Over the years we've talked with lots and lots of people confused about what they bought or were given. Machine-made rugs may have their place, but learn to identify them so you can be sure about what you are examining or being offered.

6 Comment(s)

Nancy Galvin:
21/11/2015, 05:59:52 AM
Reply

I was attempting to look at the pictures in this article: "is that a machine made rug" but can't view the pictures. I have a rug that we inherited from my husbands Italian grandmother and we are trying to research what it might be.

Matthew Bourdon:
15/12/2015, 08:37:38 AM

Hello Nancy, Sorry about the glitch on this page. We are still working out the kinks with this new website and have found that the pictures, in the blog section, are not always coming up like they should. We have been working on it and we hope that we have the problem now solved and under control. If you haven't found out the origins or your inherited rug and still have questions,please feel free to contact me at info@jacobsenrugs.com. I will be glad to discuss this with you and see if we can be of any help in figuring out what you have. Sincerely, Matthew Bourdon

Art Veritas:
15/02/2017, 08:32:44 PM, www.safecarpetcleaning.com
Reply

Nothing beats the handmade ones in my opinion. Though machine made carpets also have their pro's. Thanks for sharing this!

Art Veritas:
15/02/2017, 08:32:44 PM, www.safecarpetcleaning.com
Reply

Nothing beats the handmade ones in my opinion. Though machine made carpets also have their pro's. Thanks for sharing this!

Brad Jenkins:
Reply

machine made carpets are the absolute best

Bill W:
28/05/2017, 09:16:44 PM, www.bwroof.com/hoover-al.html
Reply

I would definitely choose a handmade rug over a machine made just because of the visual differences.

Lynne:
07/08/2017, 07:05:16 AM
Reply

I have bought a rug, says made in Iran (wasn't bothered where it was made) just loved the vibrant colours. Having got it home, I am now wanting to find out more about it. Could you help please

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