Refining Your Choice of Area Rugs
What determines the quality of an area rug
? While the question posed seems relatively simple it is more complex in scope. There are a number of factors that need to be addressed to answer this question accurately.
The area rug industry is inundated with an extensive variety of rugs targeted toward specific market segments. Therefore are you shopping for an inexpensive area rug or a high-end hand knotted piece?
The Benefits Of A Machine Made Area Rug...
For the price conscious consumer where budget is the primary criteria, there is an abundance of choices. Machine-woven area rugs are the most popular in the mid to low price level segment, with modern machinery producing area rugs simulating hand-made versions at affordable prices.
One of the reputed machine made rug manufacturers, Shaw Group, has a vast selection of area rugs from contemporary to traditional and floral to nautical. One strong highlight of this company is the price range, rugs retail from $49.00 - $2000.00.
Most of the collections are wilton woven with polypropylene or nylon material thus controlling the price. The Antiquities Collection boasts traditional Persian designs that are machine made with 100% wool. The intricate designs replicate hand knotted rugs along with offering the softness and shine. An added advantage of wilton weave is that it is extra strong, and produces an incredible number of pile textures.
The Luxury Of Hand Knotted Area Rugs...
There is no doubt the quality, look and feel of hand knotted rugs far exceed any other construction. If you have decided to purchase a hand knotted rug, consider three important elements that profoundly impact the value of the rug. Created by hand, this category can include hand knotted, hand tufted, hand hooked, needlepoint, Aubusson and hand loomed rugs.
The first factor, the quality of wool, which constitutes to shine is essential. Rugs made of wool have become increasing popular for two reasons; they last longer and are able to withstand high traffic. Look for 100% semi worsted, New Zealand wool.
The second stage - the weaving - is central to the quality of the rug. The number of knots per square inch is pertinent in determining the quality of the rug. The higher the knot count, the tighter the weave and generally the more expensive the piece. The finest carpets boast from 400 to 700 knots per square inch. Most rugs, on average, have from 90 to 250 knots per square inch. You can appreciate the length of time it takes to create one of these masterpieces.
Finally, the third factor, the wash contributes to the value. The area rug first undergoes a chemical wash and is then rinsed with water to give the rug a final cleaning. The chemical wash softens the yarn and gives the rug a silky feel. The rug is then set out in the sun to dry.
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