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Handmade Area Rugs

Handmade rugs vary with the amount of people who are involved in its construction. Sometimes it starts with one person using a tool to tuft the rug by hand. Other times it might start with a person who is actually spinning the yarn and knotting each rug one yarn at a time. In cases such as these, a single 6'x9' rug can take 9 months or longer to create. Handmade rugs are made with natural yarns like wool and silk. Some antique silk and wool rugs can be very valuable and have been sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Machine-Made Area Rugs
Machine-made area rugs are created in massive quantities using power tufting machines and looms with almost any type of yarn. They can be made quickly and easily with different textures, styles and sizes – and therefore are less expensive than handmade rugs. There are many differences between tufted and woven rugs. The woven carpets have the pile face woven along with the backing, which makes them strong and hard-wearing. In the construction of tufted carpets, the pile is inserted into the backing material with needles.

When it comes to different types of rugs and carpets, the list is simply overwhelming. Varied sorts of techniques are employed in distinct regions of the world to manufacture distinct pieces. Below are some of the most common types and styles of rugs.

Aubusson rugs wereoriginally flat-weave rugs from the 15th century France; nowadays they are often made as a pile rug.

Axminster is a machine-made rug or carpet with individually inserted pile tufts; this allows complex color patterns and designs, including Oriental.

Caucasian rugs are produced in the region north of Russia and south of Turkey and Iran. This origin commonly weaves geometric or abstract designs using a symmetrical knot.  Caucasian types including Kazak, Baku, Daghestan, Karabagh, and Talish are recognized and named by the region they were woven in.

China has woven hand-knotted rugs for centuries. There are reports of rugs being woven in north-central China as early as 1696. Chinese area rugs are traditionally made from wool or silk. The pile surface is sometimes sculpted for a relief effect. Colors can be light such as peach, white, yellow and shades of blue.  The patterns are widely spaced with more background color showing.  Unlike most Oriental rugs, the motifs on Chinese rugs do not unite in order to create one design; they stand alone. Also, Chinese designs are very literal rather than decorative: most motifs have very exact meanings. Some Chinese sub-styles include Ningxia, Baodou, Gansu, Peking, and Mongolia.

Dhurrie (Indian):
Until recently, Dhurrie rugs were considered to be the cheapest style. In the United States, the Dhurrie gained a kind of eye-rolling recognition as the standard furnishing of dorm rooms and apartments. However, thanks to some textile scholars and rug experts, they have gained popularity and now are widely used in home decorating. They were traditionally woven on flat, horizontal looms. The warp, or the lengthwise yarn that is attached to the loom, is never visible in Dhurrie weaving, except as fringe. Even when different colors are introduced to create a pattern, the basic technique results in an unbroken woven surface. Another characteristic of a Dhurrie weave is that it produces a rug that is reversible.

As the name implies, embroidered rugs are produced by an application of stitches on a base cloth, mostly Lenin. Much craftsmanship is employed to establish the embroidery. As a result, these rugs usually involve a tedious and long manufacturing process.

Flat-woven rugs have been made for thousands of years.  The designs come from the dyed wefts. There are no knots and therefore no piles. They are generally less expensive and less durable than knotted rugs. Flat-woven rugs are lightweight, easy to handle and normally reversible.

Flokati is a rug with a thick, rough nap that originated as a hand-woven, white wool rug in Greece, but is now also made in a variety of colors with synthetic fibers. 

Hand-Knotted rugs are one-of-kind handmade rugs in which the weaver has individually tied each knot by hand.

Hand Tufted:
Hand Tufted rugs look and feel very much like hand-knotted rugs, because they use the same wool and dyes as the knotted rugs use. They are different in their construction method. The tufted rug is made with a tufting gun instead of tying each knot by hand. This method saves a lot of time and keeps the price of the rug much lower than a knotted rug.

Needle Felt:
A needle felt rug is a modern style manufactured with advanced techniques. They are manufactured by electrostatic attraction of individual fibers forming highly durable rugs. During the manufacturing process, fibers are compressed on a textile such as foam with the help of needles. Needle felt rugs are usually used in hotels and commercial establishments where there is a lot of traffic.

The finest Persian rugs were woven between the 16th and 18th century. True "Persian Carpets" are made in Central Asia.  They feature wool or silk and the Persian Knot construction. Patterns are intricate and highly detailed. The basic background colors are deep reds or blues. Persian styles are the most diverse styles worldwide. There are over fifty different Persian styles woven in Iran and other countries such as India, Pakistan, China, and some European countries.

Tibetan rug making is an ancient, traditional craft.  These rugs are known to be made from Tibetan highland sheep’s wool that has a high lanolin content – an indication of high quality and durability. Tibetan designs often reflect symbolic motifs and religious meaning.

Turkish rugs are one of the most sought after household items all over the world. This high demand has made the Oriental rug industry a major part of Turkey’s economy. Since the 13th century, Turkish rugs have been woven with colors, tones, and patterns that have contributed to their popularity and are known to reflect cultural elements of Turkey’s society.

These types of rugs are produced on big looms, quite similar to other fabrics, which are woven. The piles can be berber or plush. However, plush ones are generally cut piles and berber ones are loop piles. Innovative style carpets combining the two techniques have also been launched.  Vibrant colorful yards are usually employed to weave intricate patterns and designs on the rugs.  Woven rugs are generally the most expensive ones due to the involvement of a lot of toil and labor.



There are many different types of fiber used to make carpet. The four most popular are Nylon, Polyester, Olefin, and Wool.


The distance between the needles on a tufting machine. The gauge is expressed in fractions of an inch, and refers to the number of needles which are positioned across the width of the tufting machine.

The distance between the stitches made by the needles (the distance which the backing material travels before the needle inserts the next tuft). Pitch is expressed in terms of the number of tufts per inch.

The closeness of the pile yarns. Density refers to the closeness of the pile yarns, and is an indication of both gauge and pitch.  It is measured by the number of ounces per yard. Generally, the higher the density the better the quality of the carpet.

Face Weight:
The weight, expressed in the number of ounces per yard of fiber extending above the primary backing.


Cut Pile Saxony:
A saxony configuration will generally have a pile height of about three quarters of an inch. The main distinction of a saxony will be in the fact that the pile is made up of twisted, heat-set yarns with sufficient density to cause them to stand upright to foot traffic. Ninety percent of the expensive carpets made today are of the saxony pile.

Plush or Velvet:
The plush design is dense enough to remain upright to normal traffic. The major distinguishing trait of a plush is that there is little or no twist set in the face yarns which comprise the pile. This introduces a smooth, uniform texture on the face of the plush or velvet carpet. This "velvet-plush" carpet can be sensitive to high temperatures in the cleaning solution, causing fiber distortion. Temperature settings should be turned down from the maximum settings.

This design has almost disappeared from the current market, though since a number of shag carpets remain from the early seventies, it warrants some discussion. Generally, a shag carpet contains a pile height greater than one inch, but that pile height must be coupled with so little density as to create a casual, random-lay effect so that the sides of the yarns are exposed to the foot traffic rather than the tips which are exposed on most other carpet configurations.

Splush (short-shag or mini-shag):
This carpet is halfway between the shag and the plush. The pile height is usually about three quarters of an inch, with a density which is insufficient to cause the yarn ends to stand upright to foot traffic. Although the density is greater than that of a shag, the same "random lay" effect is still apparent.

Frieze (free-say):
This design is composed of very tightly twisted yarns that give a rough, nubby appearance.
Grass-pile: Grass-pile carpets are usually made of slit-film olefin which actually simulates grass. It comes in a variety of colors.

Loop Pile Level:
This design consists of uniformly level tufts in an uncut or loop-pile configuration. Commercial quality carpet is often of the level-loop configuration with high density but low pile height.

This configuration is also known as "high-low" pile carpet.  It is formed by increasing tension on the yarn during tufting, which forms patterns with high and low loops.

Cut and Loop Pile Sculptured Saxony:
Sculptured Saxony consists of higher, cut-pile yarns in the Saxony tradition which is contrasted in texture by uncut, lower, loop-pile yarns.

Sculptured Shag:
This design is similar to the sculptured Saxony though is composed of higher, less dense cut-pile yarns in a shag configuration, contrasted by lower loops which remain uncut.

Level Cut:
This technique is used to create a wide range of patterns using cut and loop piles of the same height.



Areas We Service
New Jersey:
Belle Meade
East Windsor
Princeton Junction
Rocky Hill
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  Fred Mason and Son Company
Ewing, NJ 08638
Princeton: 609-924-3112
Ewing: 609-530-0220