Why Go Homemade
Handmade rugs offer both original artistry and longevity. Similar to works of art or a fine piece of furniture, a handmade rug is an investment piece. The purpose of this section is to help you understand the difference between handmade and machine made rugs so that you can select type of rug that is right for you.
Handmade Rugs: Collector's Items
Similar to art collectors and dealers, there are professionals that specialize in the appraisal, purchasing and reselling of handmade rugs. And just as original art works can increase in value after initial purchase, so can the value of a handmade rug. Most handmade area rugs are created from natural materials such as cotton, wool, jute and silk. Because they are created to last, these rugs will retain their beauty for hundreds of years if they are properly taken care of. In fact, the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, has a handmade area rug on display that dates back to the 5th century BC. When you combine this longevity with the unique designs that are created by weavers in different countries, it becomes easy to understand why so many people collect handmade area rugs.
Machine Made Rugs
A machine made rug is like a print or mass-produced replica of a fine art piece. Machine made rugs come in an assortment of styles, shapes and sizes. They are also typically less expensive than handmade rugs. Given the price points and number of options available, machine made rugs offer flexibility and the ability to change design schemes on a whim. The tradeoff is longevity and associated value. Machine made rugs have a typical life expectancy of 20 years and will decrease in value quickly once purchased and used. Additionally, machine made rugs naturally lack the character of hand craftsmanship. For example, a machine made rug will have completely uniform stitching. Alternatively, a handmade area rug will feature some natural variances in the stitching. Compare the back of a handmade rug and a machine rug to see the difference.