Rug production has been made easy in the modern times. Machines have been built to make the creation of things faster. The same is true when it comes to rug production. In the naked eye, every thing looks the same. However, a closer look would reveal whether a rug is handmade or not. Here are the things to look for to determine whether an oriental rug or any rug, is handmade or machine made:
Weaving at the Back. When checking whether a rug is handmade or not, you can start by checking its back. Look for weft threads, which can come in blue, red or white. Check whether these threads are horizontally woven. This can go all the way from the backside to the front side of the rug. It is also important to note that these wefts may not look even or straight as it is made by hand and not a machine.
Uneven Colored Knots. While you are checking the back of the rug for wefts, you may also check whether the colored knots under are uneven. This is a testament that the rug is made by hand. A machine made rug will show evenness and uniformed colored knots. For handmade rugs, some areas may be thicker and some areas can be thinner.
Check the Front. After checking the backside of the rug for wefts and unevenness, it is time for you to check the front part. Check its design. Again, check for unevenness. For handmade rugs, it is very rare to see the same size and shape of designs from end to end. This is especially true in older or vintage Oriental rugs.
Stripes. Still checking the front side of the rug, thin and thick stripes of color on the rug is good. There is uneven thinness or thickness of the color because they age differently in different atmosphere condition and lighting. In addition, the different in color is also due to the change in dye lot when the weaving process is being done. This change in color, known as “abrash”, should not diminish the value of the rug. In fact, it is a sign of its authenticity.
Tag. Some rugs, if you check the backside, would have tags stitched on it. If the tag says “Made In Iran”, then you have found a jackpot. Rugs made in Iran are surely made by hand. This is because they like tradition, and will most likely make rugs through the same tradition as years go by.
Wool Pile. If the rug you are checking is piled with polyester or nylon, then it is made the modern way. However, if you see a wool pile on it, then that rug you are checking is made by hand. Rugs made by hand are almost 100% woven with wool.
The one thing that you should always remember when shopping for rugs is unevenness. All you have to remember is that uneven is good. Uniform weaving on the backside of the rug is not good. At first glance, you will be able to determine whether a rug is handmade or not by checking its color, shape, and design. If it is uneven, then you have found a rug that is worth your money.