Are Handmade Rugs Worth It?

Last updated on March 27th, 2024

The short answer: absolutely! While machine-made rugs are all the rage, handmade rugs always have a special place for their ability to make a unique statement. Although many associate these rugs with a hefty price tag, they are often a wonderful investment that can last for generations.

If you love handmade, but the idea of splurging on higher-end rugs makes you think twice, not to worry! There are still tons of budget-friendly handmade options that bring a natural, welcoming look to any space.

Choosing the best handmade rug

While material type plays a huge factor in the cost of a handmade rug, construction should also be considered when settling on the best rug for your style and budget. You’ll likely come across the following construction types:

Hand-knotted rugs

As the most traditional method of weaving, hand-knotted rugs are usually the most expensive. Weavers craft rugs on a loom, tying individual knots into the rug’s foundation to create patterns. The rugs are often made with natural materials like wool or silk.

This hand-knotted Luna rug masterfully melds a time-honored craft with ultra-modern style.

Because of the time-intensive process and skill needed, well-made knotted rugs have the highest long-term value. The value of a hand-knotted rug also increases based on the density of the weave, which is referred to as the knot count. This is the best option for those who want a rug that, with proper care, will last for decades.

Hand-tufted & hand-hooked rugs

Among handmade rugs, hand-tufted and hand-hooked rugs are highly popular because of how much easier it is to make them. Because of this, these rugs are a more affordable way to ease your way into owning a handmade rug.

Hand-tufted rugs are made by using a tufting gun to punch individual loops of yarn into a canvas foundation. The surface loops are then cut down, and a backing is glued on to keep the yarns in place.

Hand-hooked rugs are made the same way as tufted rugs. The only difference is that the individual loops are left intact instead of being cut. For those with pets, these rugs may not be the best option. Their claws can easily get caught in the loops and pull them out of the backing.

Flatweave rugs

As the name suggests, a flatweave rug does not have any pronounced surface texture. Instead of tying knots to create the surface texture, rug makers weave the pattern horizontally through the rug’s foundation. Sometimes referred to as hand woven or kilims, flatweave rugs are great for those who want a low-maintenance option that’s easy to move around. Because these rugs are relatively thin, they aren’t ideal for someone needing a bit more cushion.

The Baja Collection of affordable flatweave rugs channels all the Southwestern vibes.

How to tell if a rug is handmade

You can generally tell whether a rug is handmade by looking at the back. Machine-made rugs typically have a perfectly even foundation that feels stiff compared to that of a handmade rug. Even flatwoven rugs will have a less even looking stitch than their machine-made counterparts.

Learn more about machine-made rugs

Overall, handmade rugs are a great choice if you want to incorporate an artisanal, longer lasting look into your space. Even designs offered in multiples carry subtle differences that reflect the style of the weaver who crafted it. Regardless of how a rug is made, however, the #1 rule is to go with whatever speaks to you.

As you continue to explore what types of rugs are best for you, add this guide to your resources to look back on while you finalize your decision.

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