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Handmade vs. Machine Made - Your Guide to Making the Right Choice



Pros of a machine made…. Price, or so it initially looks! But beware their shelf life matches their price.

I have had a couple of clients who have bought a pale machine made which sadly they both dropped some water on. Sounds innocent enough but due to the jute base they had been woven on their beautiful pale silver-grey rugs became brown and blotchy with the immediate look as if a pet had had an accident.

What was the end result…. Landfill in one case and the other was replaced.


So, what would have happened if these had been hand knotted wool or silk pile on a cotton, silk, or woollen foundation…. Nothing, possibly some colour run. The only issue with water is that you need to be aware it happened to dry it as quickly as possible to ensure against the rug from rotting.


Pros of a hand knotted …Longevity.

Now you may think you will tire of it, but in my experience especially with a Persian rug this is rarely the case. The life these rugs bring to a room is not just the obvious floor covering. It is also, especially if a village or tribal rug, thought provoking. The array of colours produced naturally works in the interior because one loves the rug. Considering these rugs will outlive all other soft furnishings, they last generations and many will outlive you, so are something not just of sentimental value but also financially a worthwhile investment, a savvy buy.

Are they high maintenance? No, yes at times a stitch in time maybe necessary but if you invest £2500 in a hand woven 270 x 180cm rug for example, hoover perhaps weekly (ideally across the ends not over) and ideally do not wear outdoor shoes on it then a wash every 5-10 years is all that’s required, and a good underlay!


Ultimately, I always say buy the rug because you like it, buy handwoven as it will last a lifetime and not add to landfill as I said. I personally do not consider a rug that may have taken 3 people full time 4 months to make at £2500 a lot of money. Its an art form! We are all hungry for knowledge, then where better to start with than rugs. Many designs stem from architecture, nature, animals, social environment, landscape. Just think no 2 will ever be exactly the same, you are buying art, history and culture without the holiday expense but gaining the knowledge here in the UK to learn and to build the décor and style of your house around.


Ask about our in situ viewing service so you can try before you buy and see what a difference a hand knotted Afghan, Indian or Persian can make to your room!


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