Carpets and rugs are a fad that has taken over the world of interior décor, but while everybody admires the high knot densities and plush surfaces of hand knotted carpets, few know how to differentiate between those that are knotted and those that are woven. While hand knotted carpets are characterized by their delicately hand fastened knots of the warp and the weft threads, hand woven carpets use a loom to achieve a similar rug surface.
Hand woven carpets match hand knotted ones in almost every respect. They are warm, firm, elegantly decorated with geometric patterns worked into the strong horizontal and vertical lines of the warp and the weft, consequently durable enough to last the owners lifetime and then some. Cloth made of silk, cotton and woolen threads has been woven for time immemorial in every part of the world. Countries which are geographically situated in colder areas have nurtured this craft of woolen weaves much like that of hand knotting, and taken it to new heights in the global carpet and rug market.
The war between buying a new rug or an antique one taunts all customers looking for that perfect floor accessory. It is an established fact that the only carpets worth purchasing as antique pieces are ones that have been woven or knotted to perfection with very high thread counts and knot densities as these are the ones that have long lives. The best place to ask around for where to find valuable antique rugs? Go for the most reputed galleries and websites – reputations are more often than not built on truth – and ask around rug cleaning enterprises, you’ll be surprised to see hear how much they know about a rugs quality.
Technology has introduced synthetic fibers like nylon, polyester and acrylic – cheaper and easier to maintain being their selling point – but yet wool holds its place at the top when it comes to woven carpet fibers. Not only is it a natural fiber, making it ideal for the skin and respiratory system, but it also happens to be the utmost resilient material to weave and walk on for decades. Dyed with vibrant colors, it is a proven fact that even the lowest of qualities of woolen fiber is yet stronger than any synthetic ones. Want one last perk to seal the deal? Its raw fibrous quality makes it the perfect absorbent for dust particles, ridding the air of pollen and other asthma causing particles.
Be it natural or synthetic, when it comes to hues the rug must be colored with color-fast dyes which assure zero wash off. How to check if the rug is a hundred percent authentic? Use a wet white cloth to rub the surface and if even a slight tint if seen then steer clear away of that collection. Tea washes are used to fasten certain types of pigments, which is clearly visible in the white segments of the patterns and white fringes – if they’re stained brown, the rug isn’t as high quality as it should be.
If you’re buying your rug online, try and stick to websites that are trustworthy and preferably ones that have a clear return policy. It isn’t necessary that you’ll get something that is not authentic, but why take that risk?
Checking to see if the rug really is hand woven and not done by machine is also essential before you buy a rug. Flip it over and if the pattern on the top is emulated in the back as well then you’re good to go! A second test would be to check the fringe, as it is proof that the rug indeed has been woven by hand on a loom. Machine made rugs are cut edge to edge and those of them that have a fringe have them sewed on later for effect.
The last thing you must know is that it may seem like a lot of trouble to get a rug shipped all the way from a country in the Orient or East Asia, but ancestry and skill matters more than anything in handicrafts and we guarantee that it’s worth the wait. It isn’t only about the hand woven rug people, it’s about the history, and what better way to get the best than get it right from the source of it all.