When It Comes To Rugs, Know More Than Your Customers

by | Mar 14, 2016

When It Comes To Their Rugs, Know More Than Your Customers
FACT: You can be the best rug washer in the world, but you’ll never earn your customer’s trust until you know more about their rugs than they do.

The conversations we have with people lead them to form opinions about us very quickly. Do you leave your customers impressed with your knowledge, or do you leave them worried that they entrusted their heirlooms to the wrong person?

If you know nothing else about Rug ID, at least try to learn the differences between:

  • Hand Knotted
  • Hand Woven
  • Hand Tufted
  • Machine Made

Here are the basics:

Hand Knotted

Commonly referred to as Oriental rugs (from the East)
Warp yarns extend through the body creating the fringe
Knots are wrapped around and through warp yarns
Wefts are woven between rows of knots to lock them in and create warp depression
Typically woven with natural materials (wool, cotton, silk, linen)
Older dyes made from plant and insect materials (vegetal, vegetable), newer dyes made synthetically
Dimensional stability and color fast dyes are questionable
Life expectancy: up to 100+ years
Potential for high re-sale or replacement value

Hand Woven

Pile-less rugs (kilim, soumac, reversible, chainstitch, needlepoint, etc)
Warp yarns extend through the body creating the fringe
Weft yarns are woven through the warps creating the pattern
Typically woven with natural materials (wool, cotton, silk, linen)
Older dyes made from plant and insect materials (vegetal, vegetable), newer dyes made synthetically
Dimensional stability and color-fast dyes are questionable
Life expectancy: 50-100 years
Potential for high re-sale or replacement value

 

Hand Tufted
Tufted rugs created with a hand held tufting gun, a primary backing, latex, and a secondary backing
The primary backing is first printed with a pattern
Then the yarns are tufted in creating a succession of loops
Next the back receives a thick layer of latex (flexible glue)
The secondary backing is then applied
If sheared, the loops become a cut pile, if left alone, the loops become a “hooked” rug
Typically made with wool face and cotton backings (some synthetic blends may be used)
Life expectancy: 5-15 years
No re-sale or replacement value whatsoever

 

Machine Made
Power loomed rugs made on computer controlled automated machines
Limited color palette
Typically loomed using synthetic materials (wool face yarns may be found in older pieces)
Fringes not integral, applied after production
Sides are machine serged
The back shows incredible uniformity
Excess of foundation yarns may be visible on back
Face yarns typically wrapped around weft yarns instead of warp yarns
Life expectancy: 10-20 years (longer in the case of Karastan rugs)
No re-sale or replacement value whatsoever

Knowing these basic rug types just might give you the edge you need to earn your customer’s confidence in you.

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