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What’s The Difference Between Handmade And Machine-Made Rugs?

Although there are many different types of rugs, from animal-skin to Persian to wool, there are only two main categories to define this décor item: machine-made and handmade. It can be challenging to distinguish between these two categories, even for a rug expert. Rug-making technology has advanced so that a machine-made rug can look just as good as a handmade rug, if not better. At Love Your Rug, we love ALL rugs, and we don’t think one is better than the other. They both have their own set of benefits and disadvantages. If you’re curious about how to tell the difference between handmade and machine-made rugs, here are a few telltale signs:


The Underside

The best way to determine whether a rug is machine-made or handmade is to flip it upside down. Check the weaving and knots. If they are all the exact same, you will know it’s a machine-made rug.

When weavers make rugs by hand, they manually tie each knot. The knots will be uneven because it is done by hand as opposed to using a machine. Power looms ensure the backside of every rug is perfectly smooth, even and uniform. There won’t be any individual knots on the underside of a machine-made rug because the pile is over stitched and smoothed.

The Fringe

In genuine, handmade Persian rugs, the fringe is formed during the weaving process, making it a part of the rug. With a machine-made rug, fringe is added once the automated loom has created the rug. It’s sewn on after completion. To tell the difference between a machine-made and a handmade rug with fringe, closely examine where the fringe is attached to the rug. If you notice that it has been sewn onto the edges of the rug, you will know it’s machine-made.

fringe rug

Colour Variations

With handmade rugs, the entire process is done by hand, even the dyeing. There will usually be very slight colour variations because rug makers often use wool dyed in different batches. Machine-made rugs are constructed using materials that are dyed in one batch. There will not be any colour differences throughout the rug if it is machine-made.

Now that we’ve discussed three ways to distinguish between handmade and machine-made rugs, here are three significant differences that may help you decide which kind of rug you’d like:

colourful rug


Tender, love and care go into handmade rugs. It’s a relatively laborious process that requires astute attention to detail from the rug maker. Rug makers require years of training to hone their skills. Additionally, rug makers typically use the best, strong natural materials to create rugs by hand. Due to the time and effort taken to construct a rug manually, it will almost always be a higher-quality and more durable rug.


Machine-made rugs will never be one-of-a-kind. Every single handmade rug will be completely original. No two handmade rugs will look exactly the same. If you’re looking for a way to add a real stand-out art piece to your home, we recommend handmade rugs. However, if you’re someone who wants a perfect rug with no flaws, you should go with a machine-made rug. Handmade rugs will never be 100% flawless because there is also room for human error. With a heavy-duty, automated loom, every piece will reliably look exactly the same.


On average, handmade rugs are a lot more expensive due to the parts and labour that go into the manual construction. If you’re trying to decorate your space on a budget, machine-made rugs are a better solution for you.

rug shopping

It doesn’t matter if your rug is machine-made or handmade; Love Your Rug can clean or repair any rug. If you’re looking for rug repair or professional rug cleaning services in the Greater Toronto Area, look no further. We are the largest rug cleaning company in Toronto with two 10,000 square foot rug cleaning & repair facilities. We offer FREE pickup and delivery in Southern Ontario. All you need to do is schedule a pickup, and we’ll grab your dirty or damaged rug and return it to you in pristine condition. Get a free price quote today. Right now, we’re offering 30% off of our rug cleaning services to first-time customers, so act quickly! We love your rug, and we assure you that you will love it too once we’re done with it!

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