Hand-Woven or Machine-Made Carpets?

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Published: 26th November 2010
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The introduction of consumerism and mass market in world economies led business owners to alter modes of production. Demand for products continued to rise, creating pressure on the manufacturing industry. As a result, manufacturers began to use computer-generated machines to hasten their production process. One of the industries which adapted this mode of production is the textile industry, particularly carpet manufacturers.

Before 1920, hand-weaving, hand-knotting and braiding were the most commonly used techniques in carpet-making. When carpet trade improved in the 1920’s, manufacturers started to use machines for mass production. This altered the quality of carpets produced for world trade, particularly those for adornment and office flooring. Because of this, carpets which were created before 1920 are now considered "antique".

Hand-woven and machine-made carpets vary mainly on its manner of construction. Machine-made rugs consist of fibers glued to a strong plastic base. The durability of this type of carpet lasts only for some time. The glue that attaches the fibers to the base wears off through time. Other differences of hand-woven and machine-made carpets can be seen in terms of materials, effects of touch, and characteristics of the carpet’s base.

Pure organic wools are used in hand-woven carpets and rugs. Yarns weaved as looms are also made up of organic wool, largely coming from unexposed skin of sheep. On the other hand, machines use acrylic and other chemically-processed materials. In Cedartown, carpet cleaner observed that a hand-woven carpet has "fringes" on the sides, giving it an irregular size and shape. Machines sew these fringes to clean the edges and give the carpet a definite shape.

In Rome, carpet cleaning experts also notice that hand-woven carpets and rugs have more body and substance as opposed to machine-made ones. Machine-made carpets compress greatly when pressure is exerted on its surface. This makes them less durable than hand-woven carpets.

Another significant difference is the quality of stitching on the carpet’s back portion. Power-loomed carpets have very consistent yarn arrangement, whereas stitches in hand-knotted carpets vary slightly from one knot to the next. Cedartown carpet cleaning experts also say most machine-made rugs have a canvas base that is visible at the back.


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