Hand-Knotted Rugs or Machine Made Rugs … What’s the Difference?

Hand-Knotted Rugs or Machine Made Rugs … What’s the Difference?

Area rugs are an integral design element when it comes to updating the look of your home or office. While you may know what colors, designs and motifs you wish to incorporate into your decor through your rugs, you may not have considered which type of rug would work best with your lifestyle. Not all rugs are created equal, and choosing the wrong type of rug for your space could result in a waste of time, money and energy. 

If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to invest in a hand-knotted rug, or whether the ease and simplicity of a machine made rug is right for you, consider all of the above. Either way, investing in an area rug is one of the best ways to make any place feel a little more like home!


Before you go rug shopping, you’ll want to get to know the two most popular styles that designers and homeowners reach for. Hand-knotted and machine made rugs are currently the most popular floor coverings, and can be found in a variety of styles and at a variety of price points. While both of these rug styles will add beauty, utility and comfort to any space, they also differ in a number of ways. It’s important to know the difference between these two fabrication and construction types so you can make the best decision when it comes time for you to roll out a new rug. 

Hand-Knotted Rugs

Typically made of wool, hand-knotted rugs are made by artisans using traditional techniques. The wool fibers feature rich dyes that wear well over time, creating a vibrant look in ornamental patterns. Classic and beautiful, hand-knotted rugs are also expensive, with the typical 8 x 10 wool area rug costing upwards of $1,000. Hand-knotted rugs are also notoriously difficult to clean, and due to the natural fibers, are susceptible to damage from carpet mites. In short, hand-knotted rugs are beautiful additions to any home, though expensive and high maintenance. 

One of the interesting things about hand-knotted rugs is that they are symmetrical, meaning that they have the same pattern on the front and back. This means that once one side of the rug begins to show too much wear or becomes stained, you can simply flip the rug over and enjoy a fresh new facade! Hand-knotted rugs are also unique in their design, and no two will ever be alike. 

Machine Made Rugs

Fabricated with synthetic fibers like polypropylene, machine made rugs are built to give any space the beauty of traditional hand-knotted rugs with a modern twist. Available in a wide variety of size, shapes and patterns, machine made rugs are typically easier to clean, water-resistant and durable. Ideal for high-traffic areas, the fibers in machine made rugs are soft and easy to maintain. Since they are created with synthetic fibers, machine made rugs won’t attract carpet mites, and are ideal for individuals that need hypoallergenic home decor. Synthetic rugs are also considerably less expensive than hand-knotted wool rugs, making it easier to switch out and replace your rug with your changing moods and style.

Another benefit to machine made rugs is their versatility. Because they are so durable and feature water-resistant properties, machine made rugs can be used in areas like the laundry room, the kitchen, the bathroom or even on patios. Plus, they’re much lighter than traditional heavy wool rugs, making them an easy option for renters or anyone that likes to be on the move. 

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