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Authentic Oriental Rugs vs Machine-Made Area Rugs

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Authentic Oriental Rugs vs Machine-Made Area Rugs

Why Oriental Rugs Are Better

If you're one of the 66% of Canadians that's proud to call themselves a homeowner, you've likely looked for new ways to spice up your home once or twice. One of the most effective ways to do this, as you may have already realized, is to get beautiful area rugs that match your decor and draw each room in your home together.

However, not all rugs are created equal. In fact, the different ways that rugs can be crafted make them distinctly unequal. Machine-made knockoff versions of oriental rugs are often what are sold in stores, but these are incredibly low quality. You're going to want to identify and purchase something real, gorgeous, and handmade.

But what exactly is an oriental rug? How is it made differently from those in a factory, and how can you identify them from one another? Why does it even matter that you get a handmade rug over a machine-made one?

Here, we're going to answer these questions to ensure that you get a high-quality rug for your home.

What's an Oriental Rug?

An oriental rug is one that's handmade. More specifically, these rugs are hand-knotted until they match the weaver's vision. 

The person who creates these rugs will insert knots into the fabric and tie each of them by hand, which requires a lot of time, effort, and devotion to the craft. The process itself can take months to even years for more complex designs.

Oriental rugs are made in nations like Iran (called 'Persia' at the time many of the rugs were made.) This country is the #1 producer of oriental rugs, and we're proud to sell carpeting made by hand by the Iranian people. Many other oriental rugs are made in China, India, Turkey, and Russia, among other places.

What Are Machine-Made Area Rugs?

Machine-made area rugs are created in large factories. While some of these factories are in North America, the vast majority of them are abroad. Countries like China, Vietnam, and Cambodia ship these low-quality rugs overseas and North American vendors sell them at a low price.

These machine-made rugs are manufactured with a piece of machinery called a power loom, which is controlled by computers and automated to create patterns in the fabric. Generally, the fabric quality is initially poor even before being made into rugs. Synthetic fibers like polypropylene, nylon, and polyester are the most commonly used.

The only real benefit to machine-made rugs is that they're easy to find and affordable. If you walk into pretty much any store in Canada, these area rugs are the kind that you're going to find. This might sound like a benefit, but it actually isn't a good thing. These rugs are incredibly low-quality since they're mass-produced- the people who make them don't put any care into each individual rug.

This is also the cost of the rug's low prices. The low quality of machine-made rugs means that though it'll be an affordable purchase, you'll need to replace it sooner rather than later. This makes oriental rugs a much better value since you won't need to replace them. Oriental rugs can sometimes last for generations, so your children may not need to replace them, either!

How to Spot Authentic vs Imitation Oriental Rugs

If you're like most people and you aren't trained to distinguish oriental rugs from imitation ones, it can be incredibly difficult to figure out which is which. However, there are a couple of ways that you can begin to spot which rugs are handmade and which are mass-produced.

First, handmade rugs can be identified by looking at the back of the rug. If there is some level of detail on it, that means that the rug is of higher quality. While machine-made rugs tend to have white plastic or fabric backing, authentic ones do not have this. Instead, you would be able to flip a handmade rug over and use it with few differences in appearance.

The way that the knots on a rug look are also a surefire way to indicate their method of creation. On machine-made rugs, the knots will appear entirely even. However, handmade rugs look a bit more human, with uneven and not completely uniform knots.

Also, on a machine-made rug, the fringe will perform no function when it comes to holding your rug together. The fringe on a handmade rug is an integral part of its design because each knot exists to end a thread at the edge of the rug.

In any case, there's no need to fret. Any rug that you purchase from us is guaranteed to be authentic and handmade, meaning that you won't need to go through the stress of weeding out the machine-made ones!

The Benefits of Oriental Rugs

Now that you know the difference between authentic oriental rugs and machine-made knockoffs, it's time to learn the benefits of the former over the latter. Read on to learn more about the benefits of traditional handmade Persian and oriental rugs so that you fully understand why purchasing one is the right choice!

Rich History

When you buy oriental rugs- especially of the antique variety- you know that the object you're getting has a rich history. Maybe it was created by someone in Persia in the early 1920s. This person may have enjoyed crafting as a way to detract from the stress of governmental upheaval. Maybe it was made as an act of self-expression and defiance in Mao's China.

In any case, you know that your rug has an individual and rich history behind it when you buy something authentic. Each and every design has a story to tell and, at the core of it, a person who has something that they wanted to say through their art.

Even if you choose to purchase a new oriental rug, you'll show your support for someone who has a story to tell today.

High Quality

The authenticity and craftsmanship of Oriental and Persian rugs, of course, leads to higher quality products. Because handcrafted rugs take longer to make and are made with better materials, they're going to last much longer.

You won't need to replace them, possibly for the rest of your life. You can get them cleaned, repaired, or refurbished at an affordable rate, too, so you'll never need to worry about a decline in their value!

High-quality materials ensure that your rug will have brighter and more vibrant colors throughout its entire lifespan. It also prevents scuffing and regular wear-and-tear that could damage a machine-made rug after a very short amount of time.

 

Environmental and Economic Consciousness

Factories like those that create machine-made rugs are terrible for the environment. Air and water pollution are rampant in industrial cities, and nations in Asia are suffering miserably from this pollution. When you buy handmade rugs, you aren't supporting these factories and contributing to the environmental damages that they create.

You also will support the small businesses in Canada (like us!) that sell these handmade rugs. Plus, you'll be supporting independent creators abroad at the same time! This has widespread economic benefits because you'll be giving your money to actual people to funnel back into the economy rather than to large corporations.

Humanitarian Benefits

If you purchase handmade oriental rugs, you support the people and families that created them. This allows artists to make a living off the work that they do. Even if the creator of the rug you select is long dead, you're supporting their family and community as well as paving the way for other artists to sell their creations and make a living.

However, the majority of humanitarian benefits from buying oriental rugs come from the fact that you won't be supporting terrible labor conditions abroad. Most machine-made rugs are, as we said before, from China and other Asian countries whose outsourced labor we use. The terrible working conditions for those who create machine-made rugs are, to understate, human rights violations. Buying handmade oriental rugs ensures that you do your part to fight against these violations.

On the other hand, many handmade oriental rugs are also from abroad. You can support local artists in these nations by purchasing an authentic rug!

 

Get Beautiful Rugs Today

While imitation rugs have been growing in popularity over the past couple of decades, it's time for the higher-quality classics to make a comeback.

Now that you know the benefits of oriental rugs over machine-made imitations, it's time to get shopping for affordable and high-quality rugs. Click here to contact us and book an appointment to view our oriental rug gallery. This is an amazing day activity, so schedule an appointment right now! If you prefer to order online, that's also alright, though- we have a huge number of styles that can be delivered directly to your doorstep.

Have fun decorating with the best oriental rugs!

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  • Tanya Shea
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