Machine vs Hand

Fine Line between Hand Made and Machine Made Carpet

Shopping for carpet made safer is a guide towards the basic knowledge of acquiring quality oriental carpets without getting ripped off by some irresponsible carpet dealers.  The emergence of new carpet dealers into this country from around Central Asia namely Pakistan, Turkey, Iran and the like has made it appear that the industry has somewhat become competitive.  Yet it does not somehow lower the prices but led the consumers into buying something which are not what they are seeking for.   Many a time it is seen at shopping complexes in Kuala Lumpur where a periodical promotion booths are also being hosted by migrating carpet dealers without actual establishment locally.  Personally, I had witnessed how a consumer was led into buying a machine made carpet for what was intended to be a hand made Tabriz by the scammer.  To be on the safe side, the least one can do is to be attentive on the following tips when looking for genuine oriental carpet.

1. Know The Quality Of Carpet

KPSI or knots per square inch is a yardstick of checking the quality of a hand woven or also called  a hand knotted carpet.  These knots can be viewed by flipping the carpet to see its underside.  A fairly good quality carpet should at least has around 120 knots per square inch.  One can use a ruler to physically measure the number of knots per square inch or virtually view the clarity of its pattern to understand that it is a good carpet.  However,  if it shows overwhelming clarity, it should cause great concern. It may be a machine made.  Differences between hand-knotted carpet and a machine made carpet are as follows:

Hand Knotted Carpet

Fringes of a hand-knotted carpet are extended from the carpet’s foundation or what is called warp of the carpet.

Selvedge form part of the foundation of the hand-knotted carpet which holds the fringes.

Pattern as seen on the underside of a hand-knotted carpet is not 100% perfect where very minor irregularities naturally reflect human involvement.

Knot density per square inch is not consistent in a hand-knotted carpet.

The length and width on one side of a hand-knotted carpet is not 100% equal to those on the other side.

Machine Made Carpet

Fringes of a machine made carpet are sewn to the edges of the carpet.

Selvedge is part of the fringes sewn onto the underside of the machine made carpet.

Pattern as seen of the underside of a machine made carpet is 100% perfect, precise and consistent where one side of a folded carpet exactly replicate the other.

Knot density per square inch in a machine made carpet is consistent throughout the carpet.

The length and width on one side of a machine made carpet is 100% equal to those on the other side.

Hand knotted underside

Hand made carpet

Machine made underside

Machine made carpet

2. Check The Material

Wool, silk or both combined are often the materials used for a hand-knotted carpet.  Carpets made with 100% silk are often used for areas of lowest traffic or for wall decoration.  Those made of wool and a small amount of silk can be used at areas for normal usage.  Good high quality wool comes from well grazed sheep. Climate and pasture where the sheep are bred and also the time of the year shearing take place are important factor to having quality wool.  New Zealand and Tibetan sheep are said to produce quality wool.  Good quality wool are normally soft and not bristle, while hand spun wool is also used in Central Asian regions.

3. Understanding The Dyes Used

Hand-knotted carpet can come in either natural dye or chromium dye.  The more older or for that matter vintage and antique pieces are treated with natural dye.  They are usually more vibrant and distinct but their fate also usually fades away with constant exposure to sunlight.  Chromium dye, however may not be sharing the same fate as that of former but may not be enjoying a perceived luxury by some.
Buyers should not presume to have known all “tricks” of the trade when purchasing carpet but should gain as much access as possible to their intended pieces they are purchasing.  Frequenting their dealers is the best solution hence their trustworthiness could also be accessed.
At Carpet Inn, your countless visits is always received with open arms for the sole purpose of gaining your utmost satisfaction.
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