How to Distinguish Hand-Woven Carpet and Machine-Made Carpet?


People who specialize in carpets can easily recognize hand-woven or machine-made carpets. Of course, today, due to the fact that semi-handwoven carpets are produced in very high density, it may not be easy for some people to identify the carpets. Handwoven carpets are woven by hand on a vertical or horizontal loom. First, the weavers set up a loom according to the size of the carpet, and then the roots or the base of the carpet are placed in the loom. The weaver knits on the roots and this work is done from the bottom to the top of the loom. It may take months or years to finish weaving a rug. But machine carpets are woven automatically by large electric machines. This is done without human intervention, that’s why the weaving of machine carpets is done much faster.

Differences between hand-woven carpets and machine-made carpets

Behind the carpet:

The first thing you should do to distinguish between a hand-woven and a machine-made carpet is to look at the back of the carpet. The hand-woven carpet is woven by humans, so the knots are a little irregular, and some may be larger and others may be smaller. But machine carpets have a regular and uniform texture due to being woven by industrial machines.


                                  Back of Handmade Carpet


                               Back of Machine-Made Carpet


The second way to tell if a rug is hand-woven or machine-made is to look at its roots. In a hand-woven carpet, the roots of the carpet are the piles of the carpet that are spread over the carpet at the beginning of weaving and form its foundation. But the roots of the machine-made carpet are sewn to it after weaving, and are not a part of the carpet and only have a beauty aspect.

The Roots of Handmade-Carpet

                                    The Roots of Handmade-Carpet

The Roots of Machine-Made Carpet

                                        The Roots of Machine-Made Carpet


In the hand-woven carpet, the selvage of the carpet is the string of wefts that is woven to the edge of the carpet after the weaving of each row and makes the carpet texture stronger. Of course, in some regions, this step is also done after carpet weaving, but in any case, the selvage of the hand-woven carpet is woven by hand, and for this reason, it may not be uniform. But in machine-made carpets, shirazes are sewn regularly around the carpet with a machine and nylon fibers.


                                Weaving Selvage on Handmade Carpet


                                 Selvages of Machine-Made Carpet

Number of colors:

Machine-made carpets are not woven in the form of colored knots, and the motifs are printed and injected. For this reason, fewer colors are used in machine-made carpets. Usually, this number is between 8 and 14 colors. But hand-woven carpets have a much wider range of colors and the number of colors in hand-woven carpets may reach 50, which makes it more beautiful than machine-made carpets.


                        Colors in Handmade-Rug


                      Colors of Machine-Made Rug


The designs of hand-woven carpets are rooted in the culture and beliefs of the people. The hand-woven carpets produced in different cities have different designs. Tabriz carpets, Isfahan carpets, Qashqai carpets, Bakhtiari carpets, etc., each has its own unique designs. These designs are very original and have been passed down from generation to generation. Machine-made carpets also have various designs, but their variety is less than hand-woven carpets.


Another important difference between machine and handwoven carpets is in the materials used in them. Natural materials such as wool, cotton and natural silk are used in the texture of hand-woven carpets, but synthetic fibers such as polyester, acrylic and bamboo are used in machine-made carpets.


  • Since handmade carpets are woven with natural fibers, the use of these fibers makes calcium easily absorbed in the human body and prevents osteoporosis.
  • Handwoven carpets do not produce electricity by themselves, but machine-made carpets generate a lot of dust by producing electricity, which causes sensitivity and allergies.
  • Handwoven carpets with natural fibers have a warm character. These carpets act as insulation in the cold season and cool in the hot season. But machine-made carpets have a cold character because of the synthetic fibers and are always cold.


Machine-made carpets lose their luster after a few years of use and last for 10 to 15 years. Machine-made carpets have no value for collectors even if they are a hundred years old. But because of the natural fibers, handmade carpets can be more than a hundred years old. These carpets become brighter and more beautiful every time they are washed. For this reason, they become more valuable with the passage of time.

Also Read: Antique Carpet and Its Features!


Handwoven carpets are woven by different weavers, and this makes them slightly different even if the designs are the same. Sometimes weavers may use fine and coarse wefts in different rows to achieve the desired size. Of course, this issue is not considered a problem if it is small, but the machine carpets are woven perfectly symmetrically and regularly.


Due to the natural fibers of wool and spun silk used in hand-woven carpets, these carpets are softer and more delicate and do not lose their softness over time and traffic, but machine-made carpets not only do not have this softness, but their carpets are crushed due to traffic. They lose their softness. This is the reason why handwoven carpets can be folded, but machine-made carpets cannot be folded and are transported in rolls.

The softness of the hand-woven carpet

                   The Softness of the Hand woven Carpet


One of the disadvantages of handwoven carpets is their heavy weight, which makes it difficult to move them. Also, it is difficult to wash a handwoven carpet because wool increases in weight when it gets wet.


So far in this article, we have examined many things, but despite all the points we have said, the price may be the only important factor for some people to choose a carpet. Hand-woven carpets have a much higher price compared to machine-made carpets. The production process of a machine-made carpet may be completed in a short period of time, but hand-woven carpets may take months and years. If you don’t have any problem with paying for the handmade carpet, we suggest you these carpets so that you can use them safely for many years. Buying a handmade carpet is not only a waste of money, but also an investment, because its value increases day by day.

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