Tips for Buying an Oriental Rug – Part 2: Hand-Made Oriental Rugs vs. Machine-Made Oriental Rugs - Lavender Oriental Carpets

Tips for Buying an Oriental Rug – Part 2: Hand-Made Oriental Rugs vs. Machine-Made Oriental Rugs

This is the second part in our series designed to educate you in the major aspects of buying antique oriental rugs and vintage oriental rugs.  In this part, we will discuss how oriental rugs are made in order to illuminate the artistry behind these cherished works of art.

Chances are, if you’ve been looking through antique oriental rugs already, you will have noticed that there are two broad categories of rugs: hand made oriental rugs and machine made oriental rugs.  Since oriental rugs were originally woven by hand, let’s start with those beauties.

Hand-Made Oriental Rugs

These are made on a loom with strands of wool or cotton called warps, which are stretched from the top and bottom beams of the loom.  The weaver then makes horizontal rows called wefts by weaving strands of wool or cotton in and out between the warps.  Tying the warps together with a piece of wool or cotton then creates the pile of the soon-to-be oriental rug.  The weaver works up the loom, knot by knot and row by row, taking about six months to weave a 9’ x 12’ oriental rug.

Since these oriental rugs were made with natural wool and cotton, they tend to last several lifetimes due to their natural preservative lanolins.  Also, since these oriental rugs were hand-knotted, they are easily repairable, which further extends their lifespan.

Machine-Made Oriental Rugs

These are constructed by a machine that glues synthetic fibers to a strong plastic base. Since the machine works off an algorithm or a computer sequence, it only takes a few hours to complete an oriental rug. Initially these are very strong, but over time the adhesive degrades and the fibers begin to detach from the base.  Machine-made oriental rugs tend to last an average of 12-20 years.­

This is a broad overview of the two types of oriental rug construction and more posts will follow in the future regarding the different hand-knotting styles.

For Further Exploration:

Begin to explore different design styles of Antique Oriental Rugs.

Familiarize yourself with different Antique Oriental Rug Weaving Areas.

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