The Difference Between Hand-Knotted Rugs & Machine Made Rugs

The Difference Between Hand-Knotted Rugs & Machine Made Rugs

When in the market for a new area rug for your home, you may find yourself questioning the difference between a hand-knotted imported rug versus a machine-made rug. What makes these two types of rugs different? Why does the price vary so much between hand-knotted and machine-made rugs? To understand the difference between these two options, we’ve broken down what to look for on your area rug search and what factors are the most important.

What Is a Hand-Knotted Rug?

Also known as an Oriental rug, a hand-knotted rug is created by hand using a specialized loom. The weaver of the rug creates a remarkable pattern by hand-tying knots with careful construction. Creating a hand-knotted rug is a very time-consuming process as they are all completely one-of-a-kind and a direct reflection of the weaver’s creative design. With the amount of time and care that goes into creating a hand-knotted imported rug, you can have peace of mind knowing your rug is high quality and can last for more than 100 years.

What is a Machine-Made Rug?

Unlike hand-knotted rugs that are created individually by hand, machine-made rugs are made in bulk by large power looms. These machines work the individual fibers to create a pattern reminiscent of a hand-knotted imported rug, offering a similar appearance at a more affordable price point. However, the quality of these machine-made rugs is much worse than hand-knotted rugs and typically last 20 years or less. Along with the low quality, machine-made rugs also have no resale value.

Telling the Difference Between Hand-Knotted and Machine-Made Rugs

Although a machine-made and hand-knotted rug may look similar at first glance, there are a variety of ways to tell the difference between the two. If you’re in the market for a hand-knotted rug, look for these signs indicating it’s a one-of-a-kind hand-knotted rug.


The backside of a hand-knotted imported rug will also be more vibrant and display the rug’s patterns and design versus a machine-made rug that will have a latex or linen backing to hold the weave in place.


The fringe on the end of a hand-knotted rug is in place to hold the rug together. Each knot in the rug is secured to a warp thread that creates the beautiful fringe on the outside of the rug. Instead of being woven within the rug, a machine-made rug often secures fringe on by sewing it in place to give the appearance of a hand-knotted rug.


Because hand-knotted imported rugs are individually woven, you’ll notice slightly uneven knotting on the backside of the rug that isn’t perfectly uniform. In comparison, a machine-made rug will have extremely consistent “knotting” since they are not created by hand. Machine-made rugs aren’t composed of actual knots, but instead, the power loom secures the rug fibers to the base using heat and high pressure. This is why a hand-knotted rug is more durable than a machine-made rug.


Since a machine-made rug attaches the rug fibers to the base using heat and pressure, the fibers are more likely to be pulled out from the base. With a hand-knotted imported rug, the fibers are woven together in tight knots that will not pull out or lose their shape over time. Hand-knotted rugs are also made from higher quality materials such as wool or silk which are known to be more durable than the synthetic materials used for machine-made rugs.

For high-quality, hand-knotted imported rugs, look no further than Kirishian Imported Rug Co. for all your area rug needs.

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