The difference between handwoven and machined rugs

So, you are headed to a rug store that claims to sell handmade rugs, but you are not sure how to tell the difference? Well, worry not, because in this article we will answer all your questions. By the end, you will learn about the ways in which you can tell apart real handmade rugs from machined rugs.

Without any further ado, let us get right into it.

What are the differences?

For a layman, recognizing the differences between regular machined rugs and handmade rugs can be difficult. After all, the differences are very subtle and may even be invisible to the naked eye. However, the thing is, that you can easily spot other qualities and use them to determine whether the rug is made by hand or by a machine.

Consider the following ways:

Look at the rug’s back

Flipping the rug back is perhaps the most efficient method of telling apart handmade rugs from machined rugs. In a handmade rug, the knots and the weaving could be slightly uneven. Whereas in rugs that are made by machines, the weaving is always even and very uniform.

By uneven, what we mean to say is, that some knots may be small while others will be large. Furthermore, by cutting the knots, a single piece will pop out. This is a clear indication that the rug is hand-woven.

In comparison, machined rugs tend to have very uniformly woven knots. And this is just one of the qualities that are very obvious to the naked eyes. So, this is the first thing that you need to look for.

As for the material, rugs made on machines usually have a linen or latex backing. However, this is not the perfect test because a big number of handwoven rugs also contain a backing. This backing is designed to hold together the various types of weaves in the rug. Without the backing, the weaves will simply fall out, rending the entire rug useless.

You can see a similar design in carpets. So, checking the patterns in the front of the rug rather than the back is a more efficient method.

Check the fringes

When it comes to handmade rugs, the fringes are made with the help of warp threads. However, in the case of machines, the fringes are simply sewn in. So, this is yet another common difference between handmade and machined rugs.

Check the edges

The edges on a handmade rug tend to be non-uniform and slightly uneven. In comparison, machined rugs have very even edges which give it away. Even though some machines try to replicate the uneven edge produced by hand weaving, there is still an obvious pattern visible in machined edges.

So overall, the difference between handmade rugs and machined rugs simply lies in checking the patterns in the rugs. Since machines make use of a set code, they always run in a pattern. And as of yet, machines cannot exactly replicate the look of handwoven rugs, which are naturally better.


Handwoven rugs tend to be naturally more expensive, due to all the labour costs and more effort required to produce them. But they naturally look much better in comparison with regular machined rugs, and that is why handwoven rugs have such a big market.

If you are a fan of handwoven rugs, we suggest you use our tips to check whether the rugs that you are buying are actually handwoven or not. If you go to a trusted shop that sells traditional rugs Vienna VA, chances are that you will easily find authentic handwoven rugs. Although, machined rugs are more common due to a higher affordability.

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