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hand knotted rugs

25 Rules for Buying Hand Knotted Rugs

So you want to buy hand-knotted rugs?
Not everyone knows, but hand-knotted area rugs bring culture, luxury and beauty to your home. It has now become a not just a simple home decor, but has become a need. There are lots of things to consider before buying the right rug for your home, and here are the few things you need to know:

  • What is a hand-knotted rug?
  • How is a hand knotted rug made?
  • How do I clean a hand-knotted rug?
  • What style should I choose for my space?
  • You may also check this post to know more about Boho Chic Rugs, another type of rug which are made of synthetic materials.

25 rules to buy hand-knotted rugs:

1. Hand-Knotted Rugs are Oriental Weaver Rugs

Hand-knotted rugs are the cream of the crop when it comes to area rugs and carpets. A skilled weaver individually ties every single knot to create intricate patterns and designs.

 Check Out How A Hand Knotted Rug Is Made!  2. Hand knotted vs Hand tufted rugs

Hand-tufted rugs are made using a tufting tool to punch the yarn into a fabric backing to hid the glue that is holding the rug together. Anyone remember Lite-Brites? The tufted rug process is very similar. A stencil canvas is stretched behind so the design can be traced/punched into the rug. The tufting gun speeds up the process significantly and very little skill is needed to complete a tufted rug, resulting in a significant decrease in quality and price.

 3. A Hand Knotted Rug is Woven by Hand 

Hand-knotted rugs are the cream of the crop when it comes to area rugs and carpets. A skilled weaver individually ties every single knot to create intricate patterns and designs.  

Vertical (warp) threads are tied onto the loom — these threads are what will eventually become the fringe of the rug. The weft then runs horizontally, intertwining with the vertical threads to create the foundation of the rug. The knots are tied to the warp threads, cut and then tied again to secure the knot. An experienced weaver can tie one knot every two seconds!

 4. Know What Type of Knot You Are Looking For

There are three main types of knots in a hand-knotted rug.  

Persian Knot (Senneh Knot) / Turkish Knot (Ghiordes Knot)    

The Persian knot is asymmetrical and open to one side. This knot doesn't leave gaps and is less bulky than Turkish knots. Persian knots are used to create more intricate curvilinear or floral patterns on hand knotted Persian rugs. Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Tibet, and China are some of the places that is known for this knot.  

The Turkish knot is symmetrical and can be identified by two small bumps within one knot found normally on the back of the rug. This looks like a double knot. Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and northern Iran are known to practice this type of knot.

Jufti knots are known as false knots. Instead of being tied around two warp threads, the weaver ties the knot around four. In this short cut, the weaver spends less time on the rug, resulting in lower value and quality.  

5. Hand Knotted Rugs Can Be Woven Using  Wool/Silk

Hand-knotted rugs will never be woven using synthetic materials like polypropylene, nylon, acrylic, or polyester. Rugs of this type are produced only using pure materials such as the following: Silk Hand knotted area rugs that are woven from silk are stunningly luxurious. Silk, being an expensive material, rugs of this type have a higher price. Just be careful, as such some Rug dealers will market their rugs tagging as 100% pure silk, but in fact, the material is either mixed or just pure rayon or viscose. Both of these resemble silk even at the chemical level. Bamboo silk, a naturally produce silk, is an excellent alternative to traditional silk.  

Bamboo silk is more durable and more environmentally friendly like the naturally produced caterpillar silk. Both materials are made the same way, but just opt with bamboo silk, so we can save poor little silk caterpillar lives! Wool Rugs Sheared from a sheep, wool is hypo-allergenic, anti-bacterial and a renewable resource. The sheep are not hurt in the process — they even enjoy the haircut!

Wool and Silk When an area rug is woven with the used of both wool and silk, usually the bulk of the rug is wool and silk is woven into the intricate design to create a sheen.  Like this wool and silk hand knotted rug!  

6. A Hand Knotted Rug Takes Time to Weave

An average weaver can weave about 10,000 knots in an eight hour day. Depending on the size of the rug and the intricacy of the design, it could take between 30 days and 8 years to weave a carpet. Most company’s rugs will take about 9 months to 1 year to complete. RugKnots can weave and deliver a hand-knotted rug within 4 months! 

7. A Hand Knotted Rug is a One-of-A-Kind Piece

Rug Knots weavers are specialized artisans who do not use stencils during the weaving process. Cartoons are used as guides and are sketched out before the knotting process begins.All Rug Knots rugs are one-of-a-kind — no two are ever the same. Every rug is exceptionally woven and knotted to create a unique work of art for you to display in your home

8. The Number of Knots Will Determine the Value

The higher the knot count, the higher the value! Many factors go into determining the value of a hand-knotted rug. These include:

  • Age
  • Size
  • Design
  • Material

However, because of the time it takes for the artisan to individually wrap every knot and the amount of wool used in the process, knot count per square inch (KSPI) is one of the largest determinants of value. Just like thread count on sheets, hand-knotted rugs can start out at 50 KSPI and can reach over 1000.  

 9. Fringe Is Back! And It’s Important

Pay close attention to the fringe! Hand-tufted rugs are made using a tufting gun, which punches the traced pattern into a canvas. After the design is complete, a fabric backing is glued onto the back to hold the rug together. A decorative fringe is then added to give the appearance of a hand-knotted rug. In a hand-knotted rug, the fringe is a key component to holding the rug together. You will never see an authentically hand knotted rug with a glued or sewn on the fringe. The fringe is one of the defining characteristics of a hand-knotted rug. Here is how to tell the difference:  
-The fringe on the hand-knotted rug is a part of the weave of the rug.   -The fringe on the tufted the clearly and add on. -If you look closely, you can see the wrinkled edge of the sewn on the fringe.  
  If a lemon is green, it’s lime. If the fringe is glued or sewn on, it's tufted
Do all hand knotted rugs have fringe?
Hand-knotted rugs usually have fringes as they do not have binding on the ends. They are made from natural fibers mostly either wool or wool and silk or a combination of the two. These fibers have longevity and are great to use for carpet weaving
Do hand-knotted rugs shed?
Due to the use of Wool or Silk or the combination of both the rugs do not shed at all.
Are wool rugs durable?
The finer the wool fiber, the softer it will be, so that's the reason to use Peshawar Ziegler Rug because of the quality of wool fiber it produces.
 

10. Understanding Types of Dye is essential.

Most dyes will appear brilliant and true to exactly what you are looking for when you first see them. Despite how they look at first, determining whether they are good or bad lies within whether or not they are colorfast.
THE GOOD- Colorfast dye Although it is difficult to determine, you can take a damp cloth and place it over the rug to be left overnight. If the dye transfers onto the cloth, the dye is not stable. To do this, ask if you can take the rug out on consignment for at least 24 hours to be sure that your dye is colorfast. If the rug dealer does not allow the consignment OR does not offer a money back guarantee, walk away. You do not want to be stuck with a bleeding rug and hundreds or even thousands of dollars down the drain. RugKnots only uses stable dyes and offers a 30-day money back guarantee on all rugs purchases. 
THE BAD- Fugitive dyes Never purchase a rug that is dyed with fugitive dye. If you spill even the tiniest drop of water on them, the dye will bleed onto everything - carpet below, clothing, and skin. This results from a short cut. The rug was not properly rinsed after the dying process.
THE UGLY- Ink If you ever hear of a rug being dyed with ink, run as fast as you can. This is a shady process that unscrupulous Rug dealers use to hid imperfections in their rugs. Ink cannot be stabilized and will bleed like nothing you have seen before . 

11. New Zealand Wool is the Best in the market

Be sure to ask your dealer where the wool from their rugs is sourced. At Rug Knots, we use 100% New Zealand wool to provide the highest quality, one-of-a-kind, hand-knotted rugs on the market. If you purchase an area rug woven with wool from India, you may end up with a HUGE shedding problem on your hands. Dealers use this wool because it is highly processed, therefore provides cheaper production costs.

12. Finding The Right Dealer is EVERYTHING

The wrong dealer could seriously cost you — we're talking about money, time, energy! When buying in-store make sure you are going to be well informed. With synthetic rugs flooding the market, there are not much brick and mortar hand-knotted rug dealers out there. If you think that something is up, politely decline their offer and find another dealer. Do NOT be afraid to buy a hand-knotted rug online! Reputable online dealers offer a money back guarantee return policy and will never hesitate to answer your questions.
 

13. Difference Between a Persian and Oriental Rug

Persian rugs are any hand-knotted rug that is made in Iran, which is modern-day Persia. Rugs that are hand knotted in other countries in or near the following countries are  considered oriental rugs.
  • India
  • China
  • Pakistan
  • Afghanistan
  • Egypt
Persia once made the best rugs. Now, with advanced trading and globalization, every country makes all qualities of rugs, good and bad. With Persian vs Oriental rugs, one is not better than the other. They are just simply different.

14. Beware of the Old Bait and Switch

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. In a store, the rug dealers may have samples on display. Great! You can view what you are buying — see it, touch it and imagine it in your home but If after you purchase the rug, the dealer pulls out an already sealed and packed rug to take home, ask questions. You need to see the actual physical rug before you take it home, or before you even swipe your card, to be sure it is the same style and quality you just agreed to buy

15. A Hand Knotted Rug Can be an Investment Piece

Yes, you read that right! Quality hand-knotted rugs hold their value EXTREMELY well. With love and care, you will be able to not only pass your wool rugs down to your grandchildren but, be able to invest in an art piece that has proven investment potential.

16. Hand Knotted Rugs Demand a Higher Price

Would you ever go to Target looking for an investment? Of course not! Big box stores sell mass-produced merchandise meant for limited use and only aesthetically pleasing for a short time. You know, before they fall apart, those products were never meant to last. Hand-knotted rugs are meant to last centuries; no wears, no tears. Due to the time, it takes to produce every tiny knot made by hand, the price of a hand-knotted rug is higher than a synthetic rug. Hand-knotted rugs combined to form and function perfectly to create a useful work one of a kind art.

17. Do You Want to Go Custom or in Stock?

If you need a rug that does not come in common dimensions, a custom made area rug may be the way to go. Nothing is more attractive better than a well styled, well-fitted rug that compliments your space. Do not fall into the spell of using a rug that is too small because you don’t have the time to find one large rug perfectly enough for your space. This will only dwarf the room making your décor look out of place and un-styled. 
  
The best way to figure out the right size area rug you need is to outline the space with masking tape. When you use a measuring tape to figure out the rug size, you lose perspective of how the rug will look in your room as you are reading the tape measure.

18. Maybe You Want to Go Antique?

A hand-knotted antique rug can add endless charm, mystery and intrigue to your space. However, the inspiration of long lost times comes with a not so inspiring price tag, but because of their rarity, antique rug prices tend to run higher than new hand-knotted rugs.
  • The range of colors in vegetable dyes is limited.
  • Look up the time period you rug is supposedly from.
  • There is a limited range of dyes used in any specific time period.
  • The pile of an antique rug has a smooth gradation of color from the base of the knot.
  • If the color changes halfway up the pile it is clearly delineated
  • The rug is probably new and has been chemically surfaced washed to fade the colors
  • It is similar to lines of demarcation in peroxide blonde hair
  • The knots on the back of an old, well-used rug will be slightly flat.
  • These knots could be compared with the rounded knots of a new hand-knotted rug.
  • Research to see if the design, pattern, or color was discontinued at a certain point. If so, the rug will be inherently more valuable
Another option for the antique rug lovers out there is a vintage/antique overdyed rug. The overdye process is done to help a faded vintage/antique rug realize its new found glory. The process is simple and environmentally friendly. Check out this video to learn more about the process...   

19. Choose the Right Size and Style for Your Home.

This is another place where that money back guarantee will come in handy. You can see the rug in your living room or in any space at your home and decide whether or not it fits your style. Consider the style and feel it over to your space. If you have a modern and contemporary style, a rug with clean straight lines best suits your needs.Or you could mix things up! We are obsessed with the juxtaposition of modern and antique coming together to create a unique style!For an old world feel that displays your hand knotted a piece of art, you can hang your wool rug on the wall like a tapestry! This is an exotic style popular in Iran and all over the Middle East 

20. Do Hand Knotted Rugs Shed?

Because wool is a natural fiber, it is prone to shedding. After the first few weeks in your home, the shedding will decrease and your rug will stop shedding completely If you see an abnormal amount of shedding on a day to day basis, check with your dealer. Your rug may have been woven with lesser quality wool.

21. They Crease and That’s a Good Sign!

Do you know how your wool or cotton trousers or blouses get creased? Wool rugs do the same. Wool rugs will not wrinkle, but they will crease if they are folded in the same position for too long. To remove the crease, simply fold in the opposite direction until the rug straightens out.Creasing is a good sign because you know that your hand knotted rug is not blended with any other synthetic materials that would prevent creasing.Synthetic rugs cannot be folded, only rolled into logs. This is because they have a hard plastic backing that cannot be folded.

22. Hand Knotted Rugs Need to be Rotated

Especially if your hand knotted carpets is placed in a high sun or high traffic area, or even used in an outdoor furniture as decor and to make sure the rug stays even throughout its long lifetime, simply rotate the rug every few months to keep it looking bright and fresh!

23. So There Maybe an Odor

Trust us, it will go away easily. Wool contains lanolin, which has natural anti-bacterial properties — meaning bacteria that inhibits the foul odor cannot grow on  the area rug.. When you first get your rug home it may smell like the warehouse it was stored in. Don't panic. Your rug will warm up to your home in no time and with a little love and care, it will smell fresh and clean. If you ordered your rug online and it arrived in a plastic shipping bag, give the rug a few days to filter the plastic odor and absorb your homes aroma.

24. Cleaning is Seriously Not That Bad!

Wool has a natural hydrophobic (water resistant) exterior but a hydrophilic (water absorbing) interior. This means that if water-based stains are cleaned within 15 minutes, it will come right off without a problem. But, if water sets in, the rug may develop on odor. This is why it is essential to have your wool hand-knotted rug professionally cleaned once a year. A professional rug cleaner will be able to tell right away the quality and type of the material and dye and will be able to assess the situation appropriately.  For subtle stains, first, soak up the stain with a dry paper towel. Then simply apply a cloth dampened with:
  • 8 parts of water
  • 1 part white vinegar
  • A small quirt of a clear mild dish soap solution

Dab in the solution, never rub. Hand knotted wool rugs contain tiny pockets that hide dust and dirt exceptionally well. You will want to vacuum your wool rug one every 1-3 weeks.To vacuum, use the bristle end of vacuum and never use a beater bar. The beater bar is too powerful and may cause your rug to shed. Read more about cleaning your hand knotted wool rug here.

25. Where do I buy? How to get a deal?

The answer is simple, really. From the factory where it is made, to the supplier, to the seller, the rug can pass through 5-10 different hands.Your best bet at getting a great deal without sacrificing quality is a factory direct shop. The rug world (much like the professional world) is a lot about who you know. RugKnots works factory direct and sells the best hand knotted rugs— meaning we do not pay a middle man, which means that you don't pay a middle man! Depending on the connection, the seller could have paid the middle man a lot, a little, or like RugKnots, nothing at all.Fake Sales Well yeah, unfortunately, you've seen this everywhere. The piece is marked up, then marked down. This is something that rug dealers do but let us explain something to you...RugKnots shows you the price of the rug before, then the price of the rug after. This is NOT the fake sale price. For more information contact our team.

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Comments

Kathy Rodeffer - May 27, 2019

We own a couple of silk hand knotted rugs we have had for decades. We are ready to sell them. We live near Charlotte NC. What’s the best way to sell them? One of the rugs was made in Iran.

richard ulzheimer - January 30, 2019

recently saw a 9×12 oriental hand knotted rug made in india at the store the dump org .10000 marked down to 6000 then 3600. what are your thoughts

Dr Asha Kapadia - August 7, 2018

Amazing clarity I got thru this information..feel more confident to buy another one..

Louis - August 6, 2018

Hi there, thank you so much for this education!! Simply amazing. I was wondering though. What about overstock. There is a rug on there (her at oriental indo hand knotted rug) and says its 200kpsi, and “This rug was created in the Varanasi region of India. All washing, spinning and dyeing of the wool are by a village family at their home. Weavers of the Mahal design use the asymmetrical or Persian knot, giving their rugs exceptional softness and flexibility. Natural dyes are used to give the rugs their rich colors”. The rug is on sale for 900 dollars. I’m just not sure. It has all the positive things you listed except the type if wool. I have never ordered from overstock and know nothing about the brand. Could you please help?

Rugknots Oriental Rugs - July 23, 2018

@Norashikin, Thanks for your comments! We’re actually a family owned business and hand knot our rugs in Pakistan.

Norashikin - July 23, 2018

Thank you for the very informative article! There are many hand knotted rugs that have already been made by skilled knotters in the villages of Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. Do you buy from them directly? My husband and I are avid hand-knotted rug collectors and we buy from these knotters directly when we travel.

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