Rugs - How They're Made

Machine-made Rugs

These days, machine-made rugs are produced on automatic weaving looms which, generally, use a process that sews coloured yarn onto a background to create the desired pattern.

Handmade Rugs

The majority of handmade rugs are woven using a process known as pile weaving. Threads are run the length of the rug (known as the warp) and then two adjacent warps are tied together with a short piece of yarn creating a knot. Each row of knots is secured with more strands of yarn (the weft) and the whole lot is then beaten into place with a comb.

A second technique is called flat weaving which involves no knots. The warps are passed in and out of the warp strands and combed into place without using knots to produce a much smoother pile than that of a pile woven rug.

The final rug making technique is known as hand-tufting. Yarn is pushed through a primary backing material to create a tuft. The tufts are held in position with glue and a second backing material applied before the tufts are cut to the required length to create the pile.

Hand-tufting is generally quicker than hand-knotting, and less expensive, but has the big advantage of being harder wearing.

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