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Area Rugs: How They’re Made

Being familiar with how area rugs are manufactured can give you key knowledge into how to search for and buy area rugs. By knowing how a rug is made, you can ascertain whether it will wear well or longer than other options, and its true value. Familiarizing yourself with these concepts can help you to find the perfect rug while staying inside your budget — and at Carpet to go, helping you to find the perfect rug is our top priority!

Machine Made

Machine made rugs are woven using automated weaving looms, and are generally not considered a long-term investment. Their elaborate designs are created during the weaving process by substituting different colors of yarn. There is generally a greater variety of rugs of this kind, and they are known to be more flexible that other rugs. However, because they are of a lesser quality, they are unlikely to last as long as other options, but are significantly less expensive.


Handmade rugs are created using a very ancient and unique process. These hand knotted rugs can be custom-made with one-of-a-kind designs that incorporate creative images and brilliant colors. Many handmade rugs contain details and intricacies unique to the village, city, or country the creator was from. Their colors are created with natural dyes to ensure color longevity over time. While these expensive rugs are certainly considered an investment, many become heirlooms that can be treasured and passed on between generations.


Weaving is a technique used to create handmade rugs. There are three essential kinds of weaves: pile weave, flat weave, and hand-tufted. Because of the time-consuming methods and high-quality creations, these types of rug are, understandably, expensive.

Pile Weave

Pile weave is the weaving technique used to create most rugs. Using this style, the rug is woven by hand tying every knot in the rug. Different weaving groups use different kinds of knots. Depending on the density and size of the rug, there can be between from 25 to over 1000 knots per square inch of rug. It takes the most skilled weavers about 10 seconds to tie a knot. In total, it would take about 6,480 hours for even the most skilled weaver to weave a 9×12 foot rug with a density of 150 knots per square inch. Thankfully, this time can be reduced with workshops or multiple weavers working at once.

Flat Weave

Flatweave is a weaving technique that uses no knots at all. Warp strands are the heavier foundation strands that support the weft strands, which create the patterns. These kinds of rugs are called flat weaves because of the lack of knots in the final product, as well as a flat final appearance to the rug.

Hand Tufted

Hand-tufted rugs are among the most durable rugs that can be created. Not only are they less expensive than hand-knotted rugs, but they are capable of weathering foot traffic for years. The foundations of these rugs are created without tying knots, and their pile height is determined by the amount of yarn the creators choose to cut off. While they take less time to create than knotted rugs, they still require a high level of craftsmanship.


Knotted rugs are created by tying knots to the warp strands of the rug. There are two predominant types of knots, symmetrical and asymmetrical. The symmetrical knot, also called the Turkish or Ghiorde knot, has been used in Turkey, the Caucasus and Iran by Turkish and Kurdish tribes. The asymmetrical knot, also termed the Persian or Senneh knot, has been used in Iran, India, Turkey, Egypt, and China. The asymmetrical knot is recognized by a finer weave, as it is formed by wrapping yarn around one warp strand, and then passing under the neighboring warp strand before being brought back to the surface. The term ‘knot density’ refers to the number of knots that exist per square inch, according to the imperial system, or per square decimeter, according to the metric system. A key point to remember is that the higher the number of knots per square inch, the higher the quality and price of the rug.

Dyes / Dyeing:

The dyeing process changes the natural color of rug materials such as wool, silk, or cotton. The two existing kinds of dyes are natural and synthetic dyes. Rugs that are dyed using all natural dyes tend to retain their rich color longer than synthetic dyes. However, these naturally dyed rugs are usually more expensive.

Natural Dyes

Natural dyes were the only kinds of dyes used until the late 19th century and come from a variety of sources, including plants, animals, and minerals. Plant dyes can come from the roots, leaves, bark, flowers or fruit of the plant. The process of natural dyeing is more demanding than the process of synthetic dyeing, which often results in a more expensive product. However, natural dyes are usually found to be colorfast, meaning they can retain their intense and beautiful colors for over a lifetime. Because their dyes are created with natural resources, rugs of this nature are an excellent substitution for individuals with allergies to ingredients in synthetic dyes.

Synthetic Dyes

Synthetic dyes were developed during the 19th century, as manufacturers needed a way to produce more rugs with more colors at a lower cost to customers. Synthetic dyes are used in a majority of rugs sold today. Synthetic dyes have enabled manufacturers to create a broad selection of area rugs using different color combinations. This broad selection of colors has enabled homeowners to find trugs with powerful effects on the environment of every room. If you are interested in an area rug and would like more information, feel free to call us with questions, or fill out our contact form on the right and get $100 off!

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