The Best Way to Tell If My Rug Is Handknotted or Handmade

12/ 9/2017

Do you know what to look for? When buying rugs online why is there such a variances in prices?

5 Min Read
How do I know if my rug is handmade or machine made

Every wondered if you have purchased a handmade rug or a machine made rug?

Do you know what to look for? 
When buying rugs online why is there such a variances in prices?
What is the difference between handmade, handwoven, hand knotted and machine made rugs? Let me try to unpack some of the differences for you. 

How To Tell If A Rug Is Handmade


Young Indian Weavers

An image from our last Indian Trip 



Turn the rug over and look at the back of the rug. 


You will need to look at the structure of the rug and its weave to determine if your rug is handwoven. In a hand knotted rugs the weaving and the knots will be always be slightly uneven and not always exact and uniform. Some knots may be larger and some may be smaller. If you were to cut one of the knots - one single piece would come out as each piece is knotted on the loom. Thousands of little knots are the reason hand woven rugs take a long time to make and the reason why they are more expensive due to the skill and labour involved. On our visits to India I was also amazed at the mathematics they were involved and the counting to create such intricate handknotted patterns in the wave. 
In my opinion hand made rugs are made by master craftsmen and women who are incredibly talented. These traditions are passed on through the generations and it takes many years to become a master weaver. 
Here are some Hand Knotted Rug Examples showing the back of the rug. 

hand knotted rugs

 Is my Rug Handmade? 


 So you have turned your rug over and it doesn't appear to have little knots. This does not mean it is not hand made. It may be just another less labour intensive weave but still just as masterful and made on a loom. Handmade rugs are usually woven on a loom like a punja or pit loom. Punja weave usually makes a flatweave or durry rug.

A flatweave rug like our Moroccan Trellis Rug or Pink Sahara Rug below by Oh Happy Home .You can see the warp (in this case it is a white warp). The weft  is handwoven through the warp. A Handmade rug like this flatweave rugs is usually the same on the back and front. 

Pink Flatweave rug

Handwoven or Flatweave Rugs example above is our Pink Sahara Rug  - Buy Once Buy Well is our motto here at Oh Happy Home 


Our handwoven or flatweave rug is made on a loom by one or two weavers working together. A flatweave rug is usually reversible meaning that you can use it on with either side. Especially handy if it is getting a little dirty or worn on one side. 

If you are looking for flatweave rugs another great example of hardwearing , high traffic rug is our Moroccan Trellis Sand Rug. Exactly the same on both sides so you can tell it is made on a hand loom. Of course our rugs also come with the Goodweave Accreditation.


Handmade grey rug


Machine Made Rugs Vs HandKnotted or Handmade Rugs  


A machine made rug will look very even and display perfectly even knots. (knots that aren't really knots! )  

Some rugs may appear to have a handknotted oriental pattern on the top but on closer inspection they are printed.

When buying online be careful to read the description as it may be a cheap printed copy rug. 

A Machine Made Rug Example

3 Tips To Know If Your Rug Is Handmade



No. 1 FLIP IT 


When you flip a handmade rug you can see more of the pattern and the design of the rug. The more knots and the more details you can see on the back the better quality rug. 
A machine made rug can also have a backing (latex or linen). This may not always a good test as some handwoven rugs will have a backing to hold all the different weave types in place.
For example our textured Jasper Wool Rug has a backing because of the way it is woven. Where as our Diamond Honeycomb (handwoven rug) does not.  This is just because of the different yarns and weaving techniques used. 



 SHOP OUR Jasper Knit Rug 


NO 2. Look at the Fringes of the Rug

The fringe on a rug is generally made from the warp threads of handmade rugs but on a machine made it is usually sewn onto the rug at the end of the making to make it appear that is is handmade. 


NO 3. Look at the Edges of the Rug 

On a hand knotted rug the edges are overcast by hand whereas on a machine made rug the edges are stitched with a machine. 


Let me know how you went with your rug in the comments below?

Is it machine or made by hand?

We know our preference - always handmade. 


Check out why machine made rugs can be bad for your health. 

Read more about our Non- Toxic Rugs for your family. 


A quote I heard the other day 

"The purchases you make today will determine the world tomorrow. "


Have a happy day,