Why Rugs Cost What They Do

From shearing the raw wool to unrolling it on the the floor of your home, hand-made rugs touch many hands and hearts. Each touch affects the price.

Wool Quality

Different breeds of sheep from different areas around the world produce wool of different characteristics. For example, the wool grown in southern Argentina makes excellent rugs. However, the wool has to be shipped to Asia where rugs are woven. Shipping is now a factor in the final product.

In the carding process, the wool is cleaned, disentangled and the fibers made to be parallel. When done by hand, a skilled carder can reject fibers that are irretrievable stained or kinked. Think great hairdresser.

Hand-carding affects the quality of the yarn.

Hand-spun yarn as opposed to machine-spun is more expensive, but in skilled hands, worth it.?

Other Fibers

Silk adds sheen and elegance to a rug. Silk is expensive.

The so-called "faux silks," like viscose, can impart silk-like qualities without the added costs.?


Like any other manufacturing process, labor cost is a huge expense.

How can it affect the ultimate price?

Knot-density is certainly important. The more knots in the rug, the longer it's going to take to make.

Various countries have different wage scales.

The complexity of the rug's design can raise the price. Extra care must be paid to the pattern. Color changes take time. Plus more colors require more hand-dying.

Some rugs, like those with hi-lo piling (different levels) need skilled shearers to finish the rug.

Expense is an important factor in buying a rug, but by no account the only factor. Every rug has a potential home, no matter how much or how little it costs.

To illustrate let's divide rugs into four different categories of price.?

Hand-made But Just Barely

Faster weaving techniques characterize this tranche. Rugs may be hand-loomed, whereby a weaver will use a shuttle and pass it by hand through the warp threads.

Another low-skill, high-production technique is hand-tufting. An operator uses a tool to punch strands of wool into a stretched canvas. The resulting pile is held in place with scrim fabric glued to the back.

Since they are part of a production line, there is little or no variation possible in these techniques. No custom colors. The designs tend to be simpler. Any hint of a sheen will be viscose rather than silk.

This hand-shuttled rug has two colors and a repetitive pattern, making it relatively inexpensive.

Hand-knotted Level One

These rugs tend to have a lower knot count. However, knot-count rarely if ever figures into rug choices. Bigger knots offer a texture that may be exactly right for what the designer is trying to achieve.

Designs can be more complex than the production rugs above. They tend to be all wool. It would be unusual to have silk at this level although occasionally we see viscose.

Oushaks are prominent here. Note that at times oushaks have been enormously popular and experienced hefty price rises before the market adjusted.

Oushaks offer versatility at the lower end of the price range, often because lower knot counts allow for greater variety in the design.

Hand-knotted Level Two

Rugs in this branch will usually have higher knot counts and more complex design. You are likely to see silks and faux silks in these rugs.

It is also here that branded weavers, importers and manufacturers play a role in the price, pushing it higher, of course.

You can see that the design is complex, does not repeat, has more colors and displays a variety of detail combined with abstraction.

The Most Expensive

Every factor that adds value combine to make the most expensive rugs.??

The rug is 80 percent silk.

The wool is hand-carded and hand-spun.

Experienced and skilled dyers have take great care to match the color specs of the designer and use their skill to see that the colors remain as uniform as possible from one rug end of the rug to the other; from one rug to the next. The dye is most likely made from plants.

Knot density supports a complex design.

Expert shearers have created a high low pattern. The silk pile is higher than the underlying wool. Notice too how the gold yarn seems to be dabbled in as if improvised by the weaver.?Rugs like this require constant, expert, loving attention.


Rug Cleaning & Restoration

A handmade rug is an intricate piece of art and an investment you will want to cherish and preserve forever. These carpets can continue to enhance your home or business for a lifetime, if they are properly cared for. There’s something extremely unacceptable and repulsive about a rug soiled with unnecessary stains.

Everyday maintenance is crucial for your rug; the first step is to vacuum regularly. The vacuuming should not be done along the edges as it can unravel the salvage. Make sure to stay away from the fringe (this too can unravel). Even with regular vacuuming dirt and dust can build up and get trapped in between the rug fibers. At any time, there is always the probability of something being spilled on your rug that could stain it. When you have the misfortune of spilling on your area rug, the first thing to do is blot up the spill. You can do this by utilizing a clean, damp, tarry cloth or a paper towel. This will make it easier to clean and loosen the stain from the fiber of your rug. Try to absorb as much of the stain as possible. The best spot cleaner on the market we have found to be most effective is Incredible (follow instructions on the bottle).

When spot cleaning is not sufficient we recommend professional rug cleaning. The benefit of rug cleaning is that you do not have to do it yourself, let us assist you with this tedious task. We recommend having your rug professionally cleaned every one to two years. Having a professional clean your rug on occasion will ensure that your rug maintains it beauty for a lifetime. Also, having your area rugs cleaned will insure removal of allergens that become a nuisance to your health.