The different types of handmade rugs [Selection guide]

Jul 21.2022

Handmade carpet making is an art that has been handed down for many centuries. In a number of countries in the Middle East and Asia, schools of weaving have developed that keep this tradition alive and produce rugs of exquisite workmanship.

Depending on the processing techniques used, various types of handmade rugs can be identified: here is all you need to know about them.

The different types of handmade rugs [Selection guide]

What are the main types of handmade rugs?

Despite advances in industry and production automation, people still play a crucial role in the production of luxury rugs. All fine artefacts, in the past as well as today, are produced by people knotting, weaving or braiding yarns by hand.

Three major groups of handmade rugs can be identified: the first and most numerous is the hand-knotted carpet. This type of product is the most widespread and the first to be developed throughout history. The carpet is the product of knotting the yarn around the interlacing of threads that make up the warp and weft. The use of yarns of various colours allows patterns and images to be reproduced on the surface of the carpet. If very fine fibres are used, the degree of detail achievable is truly remarkable. This type of handmade carpet is appreciated not only for its aesthetic appearance, but also for its robustness and durability.

A second group of handmade rugs are woven items. Within this category we find rugs produced in various weaving styles, such as kilims, dhurrie and soumak. With the exception of the latter, woven rugs are generally reversible. The yarn is not knotted around the warp and weft, but woven with the help of a loom. In making this type of handmade carpet, a technique similar to that used to make tapestries is used. The result is light and versatile decorative pieces that can be used on floors, walls or as prayer rugs.

The third and largest group of handmade rugs includes taftati patterns. In this specific case, the structure of the piece is even simpler: the yarn is fixed on a canvas using an automatic gun. This processing technique differs from the others in its speed and because it does not require any special knowledge or experience in the processing of yarn and the world of rugs in general.

The different types of handmade rugs [Selection guide]

What are the differences between the different types of handmade rugs?

The processing technique influences various aspects of handmade rugs. One of the elements that can be appreciated at first glance is the height of the pile. It is no coincidence that woven rugs are also referred to as flatweaves: these models are very thin and are therefore easy to move and transport.

The appearance of rugs also differs greatly, depending on the technique used to make them. Hand-knotted models are the ones with the greatest variety of designs. They range from plain-coloured rugs to Persian rugs with particularly elaborate designs, and contemporary art rugs, which are comparable – in terms of prestige and appearance – to a painting.

From the point of view of quality and durability, hand-knotted rugs are the most successful. As the antique Persian rugs show, a pattern made from a high-quality wool yarn can last for centuries.

The different types of handmade rugs [Selection guide]

How to furnish your home with different types of handmade rugs?

Choosing the right carpet for your home requires you to make a whole series of assessments. For this reason, it cannot be established a priori which type of handmade carpet is the best.

If the objective is to decorate a wall of the house, the final choice will probably fall on a woven carpet with great ornamental power and a light structure. If a comfortable, soft and enveloping carpet is desired, a hand-tufted carpet will satisfy. This type of artefact enhances the softness of the yarn used, but is generally very delicate and not suitable for high-traffic environments.

On the other hand, when one is looking for a high-quality, durable carpet that can make a space cosy and refined, hand-knotted rugs are often the ones that give the best results. The versatility of knotted rugs is also evidenced by the long list of materials that can be used to make them. Furthermore, it is possible to furnish both indoor and outdoor spaces in the home with this type of hand-knotted carpet.

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