August 26, 2018 7 min read

Area Rug Construction Guide

 

 

Antique ATQ-1008 Area Rug FlairD

Hand-Knotted Area Rugs

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Manufacturing Time**: 5 to 9 months

Hand-knotting is the most intricate, labor-intensive rug weaving process in use today. A higher number of knots per square inch typically translates to better quality. A complex pattern can require very dense knotting and takes a long time to produce. An average weaver can tie about 3,000 knots per day. 

DURABILITY: Longest lasting construction. Good ones can last 10 to 25 years. Great ones can last 100+ years.

SHEDDING: Sheds less than a typical hand-tufted rug.

HOW TO IDENTIFY: Individual knots are visible on the back of hand-knotted rugs, making it possible to see the overall pattern and colors used on the rug’s surface. Weaving and knots will be slightly uneven. The fringe of a hand-knotted rug is an extension of the rug’s foundation.

Hand Knotted Weaving FlairD

 

**Manufacturing time on all rug construction types includes: spinning and dyeing wool, weaving, finishing and transportation.

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Hand-Tufted Area Rugs

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Manufacturing Time**: 4 to 6 months

Generally less expensive and easier to construct than hand-knotted rugs, hand-tufted rugs are made using a hand-operated tool to punch strands of wool or other fibers into canvas stretched on a frame. After tufting, the rug is removed from the frame and a backing is applied. Bindings may be attached to the edges of the rug to add strength and prevent unraveling.

DURABILITY:  Lasts 3 to 10 years (5 to 10 years for Premium/3 to 6 years for Standard), depending on use.

SHEDDING: Sheds initially, subsiding over time. Degree of shedding depends on wool quality and rug density. Less expensive hand-tufted rugs shed more than higher end hand-tufted rugs.

HOW TO IDENTIFY: An adhesive is used to attach a canvas material (backing) to the back of hand-tufted rugs to hold the yarns together. Tufted rugs typically have a cut pile surface, although some designs have both loop and cut pile combined to add a dimensional effect to the pattern.

Cut Pile Surface Area Rug FlairD

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Hand-Hooked

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Manufacturing Time**: 4 to 6 months

Hand-hooked rugs go through the same process as hand-tufted rugs. Tufted rugs, however, have a cut pile surface, while hooked rugs feature a looped pile surface. Often, rugs will combine both techniques.

DURABILITY:  Lasts 3 to 10 years, depending on use.

SHEDDING:  Sheds less than hand-tufted rugs, subsiding over time.

HOW TO IDENTIFY:  Similar to hand-tufted rugs, an adhesive is used to attach a canvas backing to the back of hand-hooked rugs to hold the yarns together. The surface pile of a hand-hooked rug will appear looped (rounded).

Looped Pile Area Rug Knotting FlairD

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AROS AROS-2 Area Rug FlairD

Hand-Woven Shag

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Manufacturing Time**: 4 to 6 months

Hand-woven shag rugs are made on hand-operated looms with hundreds of plush, twisted and slightly felted yarns. A team of weavers uses a long steel rod to shoot the fibers across vertical strings that run the length of the rug. Each fiber can be as
long as 6".

DURABILITY: Lasts 2 to 8 years, depending on use.

SHEDDING (WOOL): Moderate shedding for an extended period, subsiding over time.

SHEDDING (POLYESTER): Minimal shedding

How to identify: Identifiable by a deep pile, giving it a shaggy appearance. May or may not have a canvas backing.

Shag Pile Area Rug Knotting FlairD

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LMA-8001 Hand-woven flatweave FlairD

Hand-Woven Flat Weave

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Manufacturing Time**: 4 to 6 months


Often referred to as dhurries or kilims, flatweave rugs are woven on a loom, rather than knotted. They are typically constructed from wool, cotton or synthetic  materials. In most cases, the pattern on the front of the rug can be viewed clearly from both sides, making these rugs reversible.

DURABILITY: Lasts 3 to 10 years, depending on use.

SHEDDING: Moderate shedding, subsiding over time.

REVERSIBLE: Can extend rug life by flipping the rug.

HOW TO IDENTIFY: Because they are woven rather than knotted, flatweave rugs do not have a tufted pile, which gives them their “flat” appearance when compared to other rug constructions. The design of a flatweave rug typically appears the same on the front as on the back.

Flatweave Area Rug Knotting FlairD

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Hand-Loomed Wool

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Manufacturing Time**: 4 to 5 months

Hand-loomed wool rugs are constructed on hand-operated looms by a team of weavers who use a long steel rod to shoot fibers across vertical strings that run the lengths of the rug. In this construction, rugs can be all cut pile, cut-and-loop pile or all loop pile. In some cases, the rug may be hand-carved to accentuate texture and design.

DURABILITY: Lasts 2 to 8 years, depending on use.

SHEDDING: Moderate shedding, subsiding over time. Degree of shedding depends on wool quality and rug density. Less expensive hand-loomed rugs will shed more than higher end hand-loomed rugs.

HOW TO IDENTIFY: Low to medium pile. May or may not have a canvas backing.

Cut and Loop Pile Area Rug Knotting FlairD

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Machine-Made

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Manufacturing Time**: 3 to 5 months

Machine-made rugs are produced by large machines that have hundreds of spindles of fiber that are mechanically woven into a thin mesh backing. The machine runs continuously to optimize efficiency. A computer dictates the pattern, minimizing the chance for error.

DURABILITY: Lasts 2 to 6 years, depending on use.

SHEDDING: Machine-made polyester rugs will not shed. Since most rugs of this type are made from synthetic fibers, the pile will crush with heavy traffic.

HOW TO IDENTIFY: As with hand-knotted rugs, the rug pattern and colors are visible on the back of these rugs. However, a coarse latex backing is used to secure the fibers in place. The back of a machine-made rug will look very uniform and even (in contrast to the back of a hand-knotted rug, which will have
slightly uneven knots).

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Indoor/Outdoor

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Manufacturing Time**: 3 to 5 months

Indoor/outdoor rugs are made solely of synthetic fibers—including olefin, polyester, polypropylene and PVC (polyvinyl chloride)—that have been infused with UV inhibitors to minimize fading. These rugs are mold- and mildew-resistant and can withstand up to 500 hours of direct sunlight.

DURABILITY: Lasts 1 to 5 years for outdoor use and 2 to 8 years for indoor use. Leaving the rug in direct sunlight or standing water will significantly limit its life.

SHEDDING: None.

HOW TO IDENTIFY: Indoor/outdoor rugs can be hand-hooked or machine-made and typically have a latex, rubber or vinyl backing, which enables them to withstand the elements.

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Natural Fiber

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Manufacturing Time**: 4 to 5 months

While not a true construction, natural (plant-based) fiber rugs possess their own unique characteristics. They are constructed of tightly woven fibers such as bamboo, cotton, jute, linen, seagrass and sisal to create a casual and relaxed look and feel. The fibers are often bleached or dyed to increase design options and aesthetic appeal. It is important to keep in mind that, as with other rugs, placing natural fiber rugs in direct sunlight several hours a day can result in the fading of
dyed materials and gradual darkening of undyed fibers. Natural fibers can be blended with other fibers to create a multitude of design options.

DURABILITY: Lasts 2 to 6 years, depending on use.

SHEDDING: Very minimal.

ADDITIONAL CHARACTERISTICS: Static resistant, naturally insulating, eco-friendly/biodegradable.

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Hair-on-hide

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Manufacturing Time**: 3 to 6 months

Hair-on-Hide rugs are hand-crafted of natural hides to create a myriad of designs. They may be dyed in a number of colors, or the natural coloration may be used. Due to the innate differences among hides, subtle variations in dye lot, color and pattern can be expected. Brands and other markings add character to hide rugs—making each a one-of-a-kind piece to create a truly authentic look.

DURABILITY: Lasts 5 to 10 years, depending on use.

SHEDDING: Very minimal.

HOW TO IDENTIFY: These rugs typically have a felted backing.

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Rug Construction Comparison Chart

Hand Loomed Wool

Indoor/Outdoor

Natural Fiber

Machine Made

Hand Woven Flatweave

Hand Tufted

Hand Loomed Shag

Hand Knotted

Hand Hooked

Hair On Hide

 

Rug Fiber Comparison Chart

Rug Fiber Comparison Chart

About Rug Color

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While the FlairD's website provides an excellent guide for evaluating a rug’s design and general appearance, samples provide the best way to accurately evaluate color. Following are some things to keep in mind when evaluating rug color:

Some fibers are more reflective than others and, depending on the lighting in the room in which the rug will be placed, the rug may appear lighter or darker than it does in product photography. For example, a viscose rug will have more sheen and light-reflective properties than a natural fiber rug, and color may vary slightly when the rug is placed in different environments.

A rug’s colors can also vary depending on the angle at which the rug is being viewed. For instance, when looking at one end of the rug, you will see the flat surface of the fibers reflecting light. From the opposite side, you will see the trimmed end of the fibers, which reflect light in a very different way.

VIEW FROM LEFT: colors appear lighter due to reflection of light on viscose fibers

VIEW FROM RIGHT: color appears darker since light source is originating from other side of rug

It is important also to convey to consumers that handmade rugs are made by artisans and are one-of-a-kind pieces. As such, they may have subtle color variations due to the inherent characteristics of natural fibers and dyes. If a customer is looking for an exact color match, machine-made rugs are typically more uniform from rug to rug.

FlairD uses the Pantone® TPX color guide when assigning colors to its products. Pantone® TPX colors provide a standard “language” that is understood by designers around the world, helping to ensure consistency and accuracy
when referring to color.

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