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Hand-Knotted Rugs: How They Are Made


There are many questions to ask yourself when buying a rug for your home, like what colours you'd like in the rug, what pattern, etc. However, one of the most important questions refers to the production of the rug. It can be machine made or hand knotted; that being said, there are differences in quality and price between the two production methods.

A machine made rug is made by a large machine called a power loom and is automated by a computer. This production method is effective at making rugs quickly and uses more cost effective materials such as synthetic fibers, nylon, polyester, etc. As cheaper materials are used in the production of machine made rugs they offer a lower price alternative compared to hand knotted rugs. When made by a machine, the life span of the rug is about 20 years depending on the quality of materials used.

Conversely, a hand knotted rug is made by a skilled weaver. He or she will hand tie every individual knot in the rug with the highest quality materials. There is no doubt that this production method yields a one-of-a-kind product! This is the reason these rugs are superior in quality and higher in price than the run-of-the-mill machine made rug. Understanding the production of the rug allows the owner to really appreciate its quality. The production involves many steps and every single one is crucial to delivering the best quality rug.


  1. First, the wool is sheared from a sheep. Kork wool is the finest wool and it comes from the neck of the sheep.
  2. Once removed from the sheep, the wool must be hand spun. This process is essential to achieve a flawless quality of yarn.
  3. When spun, the yarn will be died. This process involves dipping it repetitively in large dye baths. This ensures that the colour will be evenly spread. The dye is made naturally from plants, minerals, and insects.
  4. The yarn must be dried in the sun to stabilize the colour. The yarn is then rolled up into large balls and ready to be knotted.
  5. At this stage a pattern is made. However, sometimes the weavers do not rely on a pattern, they simply use their creativity to free-weave the rug.
  6. Now the weaving/knotting can begin! A single rug can be knotted by one or many skilled persons.
  7. Once the carpet has been knotted, it is cut and polished to reveal the pattern.
  8. Now the rugs will be washed. They are soaked in water and squeezed dry to remove any excess water and dye. This process is repeated several times.
  9. The rugs are then set to dry in the sun to further stabilize the colour. This process with allow the colour to fade slightly to give the rug a beautiful hue.
  10. The last step involves inspecting the rug thoroughly, and repairing it if it was damaged during the washing and cutting process.
  11. The rugs are then ready for delivery to our stores!11292015_10155771606125641_1031635802_n


Hand knotted rugs have a number of advantages. They long outlast a machine made rug. In fact, a hand knotted rug can last for centuries and become a family heirloom. The quality far outweighs the machine rug because they use only the finest materials for the production. The choice is obvious! Now you are equipped with the knowledge to make the perfect decision on a rug! Come to the Critelli Rug Market at Critelli's in St. Catharines to see our newly displayed rugs from India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Our rugs are one-of-a-kind and the only ones of their quality in the whole country! Have more questions about rugs? No problem! We have rug specialists in our showrooms that are happy to assist you. Visit us today!