When you buy a hand-knotted rug, this means that a skilled weaver individually tied every knot, thus creating a one-of-a-kind handwoven rug. That is what makes hand-woven rugs so special, and that is what makes them more expensive than “machine-made” area rugs. Depending on how many knots are in each square inch (50 to 160 knots per inch is typical, 400 per square inch is remarkable), it can take more than eighteen months for one weaver to complete a 9×12 rug.
Wool, silk, and cotton are the three primary materials that are used to make a hand-knotted rug. Wool is the most used material.
New Zealand and South Korean wools are often mixed with local wools because they have more lanolin, which adds sheen, strength, and suppleness. Silk is used primarily for accent because it is not as strong and is more expensive. Cotton is sometimes used in the foundation but is not seen in the pile. The combination of these materials makes for an extremely strong rug.
When shopping for a genuine hand-knotted area rug (that can be cleaned only by hiring the professional rug cleaners), if the price of a silk or wool area rug sounds too good to be true, the rug is probably made of cotton or viscose. Ask the rug merchant to pull a strand of thread from the rug and burn it with a cigarette lighter. If it’s silk or wool, it will smell like burning hair. Burned rayon and cotton will smell like burned paper. Another fun fact about wool. Wool is used in airplanes as carpeting due to its natural ability to resist fire. These kinds of carpets can be cleaned by rug cleaners and different carpet cleaning services.
Hand-knotted rugs can withstand high traffic and will begin to wear down after 20 or more years of use whereas nylon and other rugs will start to show wear in as early as twelve months. A properly cared for hand-knotted rug should last several generations.
Oriental Rug Salon is a Certified Partner with the prestigious Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the International Carpet & Rug Institute. We are a WoolSafe Approved Certified Provider. In addition, we are A+ rated with the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List, and our technicians are certified by the world’s most respected certification body for textile professionals.
When having your beautiful Oriental, wool, or silk area rug cleaned NEVER allow a carpet cleaning company to clean the rug in your home. For one thing, they can never clean the rug as thoroughly as a dedicated rug shop and you’ll just end up with a surface clean with the deep-set dirt and oils returning in a couple of days. Another thing to be cautious about is allowing a carpet cleaning company the opportunity to take your rug to “their shop” for cleaning.” Very few carpet cleaning companies like Pressure Washing in Seattle WA own dedicated rug cleaning plants and chances are they’ll take your rug to their shop and throw it in the driveway for a quick once over.
If you ever have any questions about your Oriental, Persian, Turkish, wool, or silk area rug please feel free to give us a call at any time and we’ll be happy to talk shop with you. Our web address is www.OrientalRugSalon.com and our telephone number is 239-424-8171.