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  • Agora Fine Rugs

Know the difference between a hand-knotted rug and a machine made rug.

Before you make a rug purchase, make sure you understand how the rug is made. How the rug is made determines the level of quality and durability of the rug.

Machine made rugs

Machine made rugs can be made quickly and are manufactured with materials including wool and synthetic fibers such as polypropylene, nylon, polyester, acrylic and artificial silk. These rugs are lower in price and have shorter life spans, some up to 15 years if made mostly from quality fibers, like wool.

When you look at the back of a machine made rug, the stitching is very even and uniform since it is done by a machine. Also, look at the fringe on the rug. The fringe is sewn on as a finishing touch. On a hand-knotted rug, the fringe is part of the foundation of the rug.

Fringe of hand-knotted rug

Hand-knotted rugs

Hand-knotted rugs are the highest quality and last for generations. The quality and durability are due to the intricate rug making process and the use of quality materials.

Hand-knotted rugs are made on a uniquely designed vertical frame called a loom and are knotted by hand. The size of the loom depends on the size of the rug being made. Columns of threads are stretched from the top to the bottom of the loom and form the foundation and the fringe ends of the rug. Then, weavers sit behind the loom and hand ties individual knots onto the vertical strings. The weavers follow a diagram to create the patterns and the colors of the rug. This arduous process produces one of a kind results that take months, sometimes years to construct.

If you look at the back of a hand-knotted rug, the weaving and knots are uneven and not perfectly uniform in nature. This is due to the fact that the process is done by hand. Also, the greater number of knots you see, the higher quality the rug is. Having a higher density of knots requires a lot more labor.

Back of hand-knotted rug
Front of hand-knotted rug

Hand-knotted rugs become showpieces that are passed down by generations, since they have such a long lifespan. For a wide selection of fine, hand-knotted rugs, visit or stop by our showroom in the Scottsdale Quarter.

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