Hand-Knotted v. Machine-Made Rugs: The Difference It Makes

Dover Rug & Home prides itself on offering customers beautiful hand-knotted rugs—but what does it mean for a rug to be hand-knotted, and what is the difference to the consumer?

How are hand-knotted rugs created?

Rug weaving is an ancient art with centuries of vibrant history, and it all begins at the loom. Hand-knotted rugs come together on a specially designed loom, where a highly skilled worker ties each knot by hand, producing the “pile” of the rug. (See the photo below for a detailed look at the parts of a hand-knotted rug.) Depending on the size of the rug and the intricacy of the pattern, this process can easily entail more than a year’s dedicated work.
Detailed shot of hand-knotted rug up-close.

Durability of hand-knotted v. machine-made rugs

Hand-knotted rugs woven with wool that feels “smooth and strong,” as noted here, will provide the sturdiest, longest-lasting rugs. The superior structural integrity of hand-knotted rugs is difficult to overstate; able to withstand extremely high-traffic areas, these rugs can last for generations.

Hand-knotted rugs from Dover Rug & Home.

The visual difference between hand-knotted and machine-made rugs

The distinction between hand-knotted and machine-made rugs is more than just construction; it is clearly evident upon close examination of the rug itself. Hand-knotted rugs are comprised of individually knotted fibers, allowing them to reveal a denser, more intricate design with greater depth of detail than their machine-made counterparts. As this reviewer suggests, “comparing the appearance of the two types of rugs is similar to comparing an original oil painting versus a printed reproduction of the painting—both show the image clearly, but the one-of-a-kind texture and depth of one is much more visually appealing.”

Hand-knotted rugs from Dover Rug & Home.

At Dover Rug & Home, we often reiterate that rugs are art: the art you live your life on. Now that you know a little more about the artistic process involved in producing our hand-knotted rugs, we hope you share the appreciation we feel for this ancient art form!

Rug-Buying 101: Your Checklist

Rug-Buying FAQ

Whether it’s your first purchase in a new apartment or the final touch on your home, buying a rug can be a surprisingly daunting task. Should you buy a piece that is easy to mix and match, or find something bold as a centerpiece for your design? Are you looking for a tasteful backdrop for an existing design scheme or a statement piece to define the space? What size rug are you looking for, and how will it be functioning in the room?

These are all questions you need to ask yourself as you decide which rug to purchase. If that seems overwhelming, don’t worry: we’ve put together a checklist of considerations to make the rug-buying process a breeze!

How a rug can enhance your existing decor.

Your Rug-Buying Checklist

  • What is my existing decor? Consider the elements already in place and how you can incorporate a rug into that design scheme. Don’t be afraid to be bold; provided they don’t clash with your existing aesthetic, colorful or patterned area rugs can go a long way to elevate a room’s style.

How a rug can enhance your existing decor.How a rug can enhance your existing decor.










  • What size rug will work for me? The size of your rug can make or break your room: the right rug can make a small space feel cozy rather than cramped, a large space airy rather than empty. Be sure to consider how the rug will fit (literally!) in your rooms.

How a rug can enhance your existing decor.

  • What is my price range? There is a wide variety of sizes and styles that can meet your budget, so it is important to have a price point in mind when you begin shopping.

How a rug can enhance your existing decor. How a rug can enhance your existing decor.

  • What are my instincts telling me? The most obvious point may be the most important: this is your rug and your home, so your opinion is paramount. Let your personal style and existing décor guide you, and make sure to listen to your gut feelings about what choice is right for your home and your needs.

How a rug can enhance your existing decor.

  • What other factors are informing my choice? Are you concerned about using eco-friendly materials? Easy-to-clean fabrics? Be sure to take these factors into consideration as you work on finding the perfect rug.

And as always, the seasoned professionals at Dover Rug & Home are happy to answer all of your questions and help you find the rug that is right for you.How a rug can enhance your existing decor.New in the Showroom 2