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Look for Hand-Tied Knots

It is important to be working with a reputable dealer, someone who is an expert in this field can help you discover the knots.

One way to see if a rug is hand-made…
We are looking for hand-tied knots. Note: Kilim rugs do not have knots, they are made from rows of wefts which go back and forth.

It is important to determine at which end the rug began. If you look at a rug, the ends with the fringes are the vertical warp strings which were strung on the loom. Next, run your hand on the surface of the rug back-and-forth in the direction between the fringes. You may notice the rug is smoother in one direction than the other. This is known as the “nap”. When the rug is woven, the knots fall downwards toward the bottom of the rug – and will therefore feel smoother to your hand in that direction. Also, if you back away from the rug, one end will usually seem lighter in color than the other. Looking at the rug from the bottom side, it will appear darker. The latter is the end where the weaving began. See the following pictures for more details.

Once you determine where the top of the rug is, the last row of knots should be easy to detect. Sometimes, it is the best place to determine whether knots were used to make the rug. However, on tightly woven rugs this can be challenging and the use of a magnifying glass may be of some help.
The pictures below show the two different knot types and how they may look close-up.

Another way is to look between the rows of knots. If you fold the rug open on the surface, sometimes you will be able to see the knots in between the rows.
The pictures below show the two different knot types and how they may look close-up.

Back to buying rugs
Back to buying rugs

Look for Hand-Tied Knots

It is important to be working with a reputable dealer, someone who is an expert in this field can help you discover the knots.

One way to see if a rug is hand-made…
We are looking for hand-tied knots. Note: Kilim rugs do not have knots, they are made from rows of wefts which go back and forth.

It is important to determine at which end the rug began. If you look at a rug, the ends with the fringes are the vertical warp strings which were strung on the loom. Next, run your hand on the surface of the rug back-and-forth in the direction between the fringes. You may notice the rug is smoother in one direction than the other. This is known as the “nap”. When the the rug is woven, the knots fall downwards toward the bottom of the rug – and will therefore feel smoother to your hand in that direction. Also, if you back away from the rug, one end will usually seem lighter in color than the other. Looking at the rug from the bottom side, it will appear darker. The latter is the end where the weaving began. See the following pictures for more details.

Once you determine where the top of the rug is, the last row of knots should be easy to detect. Sometimes, it is the best place to determine whether knots were used to make the rug. However, on tightly woven rugs this can be challenging and the use of a magnifying glass may be of some help.
The pictures below show the two different knot types and how they may look close-up.

Another way is to look between the rows of knots. If you fold the rug open on the surface, sometimes you will be able to see the knots in between the rows.
The pictures below show the two different knot types and how they may look close-up.

Back to buying rugs