How to Choose a Woven Wool Rug: Hand-woven Machine-woven?

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When searching for the perfect rug for your home, you may encounter two types of woven wool rugs: hand-woven and machine woven. To the untrained eye, it's difficult to tell these rugs apart, as both consist of silky, luxurious-feeling materials and follow rich, intricate pattern and colour schemes.

Although both types of rugs are soft and irresistible, they have some distinct differences that may help you decide which woven wool rug is right for you. Once selected, a woven wool rug can become one of the best décor investments for your home that will last for years to come. 


A hand-woven rug is a type of rug made entirely by hand on a vertical loom.  According to the ancient 2,000-year-old art of knotting these types of textiles, each rug requires a great deal of precision, patience, and skill, with countless hours of hard work and labour woven into them.

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A genuine hand-woven wool rug will always be created with 100% authentic quality materials, such as real sheep’s wool and natural plant dyes, and crafted into thousands of individual knots. The number of knots determines rug density, durability, and pattern clarity, meaning that the more knots, the higher the quality of the rug. As a result, hand-woven rugs are typically more expensive, though they do have a long lifespan when taken care of properly.

The most distinctive feature of these rugs is their unique and one-of-a-kind oriental patterns and designs, from traditional Persian Gabbeh rugs with raw, coarse weaves, various geometric shapes, colours, and imagery depicting motifs of animals and landscapes to tekke-faced Bokhara rugs with exotic tribal prints, vivid colours, and a silky, lustrous finish.

This luxurious red Bokhara rug pictured below has been imported from Pakistan and is distinguished by its finely knotted design and pattern consisting of rows of octagonal medallions.    


While their intricate patterns seem flawless, each hand-woven rug is flawed in its own unique and beautiful way. Every knot is woven entirely by hand, so it is common for an authentic rug to have slight imperfections, such as uneven stitching, crooked weaving, or abrash colour dye variations.

When you select a hand-woven rug for your home, you are investing in an authentic piece of art with a distinct character, and it should be treated as such. Even though these rugs are durable and built to last, you should keep them in an area with low foot traffic to preserve their value, quality, and colour. Rugs can also fade when exposed to direct sunlight, so avoid placing them in sun-prone areas of your home.


Machine-woven rugs are types of wool rugs that are machine made by large machines called power looms. In contrast to hand-woven textured rugs, which can take days, weeks, or even months to produce, machine-woven rugs can be mass-produced quickly. Machine-woven rugs are typically made with a combination of natural wool and synthetic fibres such as polyester and polypropylene.

Machine-woven rugs are a good choice if you are on a budget and cannot afford the expense of a hand-woven rug or if you like to change your décor often to keep up with trends.

Take this exquisite Kashimar woven rug pictured below, machine woven in Egypt and made from 100% finest quality New Zealand wool. Our first impression of this traditional piece is that it adds an instant pop of culture and colour to a standard looking living room. At a second glance, however, we see the perfectly woven details, the uniform straight edges, and the flawless loom, the unmistakable work of a machine.



If you choose a machine-woven rug for your home, you will be investing in a rug of excellent quality and great value for your money. These rugs are built to last and are durable, so you can place them in high traffic areas of your home without worrying about them wearing out. In addition, a growing number of parents and pet owners are opting for machine-made wool rugs created with polypropylene materials. These rugs offer resilient stain resistance and are luxuriously soft and affordable.

Woollen rugs add warmth and character to any home, so whether they are machine-woven or hand-woven, your new wool rug will become a part of your décor for decades to come.






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