Types of Constructions

Hand Knotted / Hand Woven

The most expensive & oldest form of rug construction, Hand knotted or hand woven rugs are made on a specially designed loom and are knotted by hand. The making of hand woven rugs is a very ancient art that deserves a lot of admiration! The size of the loom depends on the size of the rug and the weaving is done from the bottom to the top. The rug weaver inserts the “knots” into the foundation of the rug and they are tied by hand, this makes up the “pile” of the rug. You can see these “knots” by turning over the rug.

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Libby Langdon
Hand-Tufted / Hand-Hooked

These are the most popular constructions used today and are more reasonably priced than hand-knot. Hand tufted rugs are a type of rug that is considered handmade or hand-crafted. Tufted rugs are made using a modified hand held drill gun that inserts the pile into a cloth foundation which creates a loop pile. If the loop pile is sheared, it then becomes a cut pile. The loop pile rug, if not sheared, is called a Hand-Hooked rug. These rugs have a handmade look but they cost much less because using the gun speeds up the process dramatically. A latex coating is then applied to the back of the rug to hold the “tufts” in place. A canvas type fabric is then applied over the latex coating to finish the back of the rug.

Flatweaves are another category of handmade rugs. These rugs are hand-woven in a flat weave pattern and there is no pile. There is virtually no height to the rug. Soumak, Dhurrie, Kilim and Braided are all types of flatweave rugs. With a flatweave, you will definitely want to put a rug pad under it to help it stay in place and provide a little more cushion to the rug. Natural fibers, wool, and cotton, all make good materials for flatweave rugs. Playa, Natura, Bahama, and Horizon (Indoor/Outdoor) are good examples of KAS’ flat weave collections.

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Power-Loomed / Machine-Woven

Machine-made rugs are made by large machines called power looms. A power loom is electrically automated and controlled by computers. Machine-made rugs can be made quickly and are manufactured with materials including wool and synthetic fibers such as polypropylene, nylon, polyester, acrylic and art silk. Machine-made rugs lack the flexibility of a handmade rug in that pre-determined patterns and colors are used and others cannot be added in process. There are two types of looms used to create three different categories of Oriental reproductions: Wilton, Cross-woven Wilton, and Axminster. Each of these can be designed to achieve various pile heights, densities, finishes and qualities.


Shag rugs are one of the more popular trends today. They are fun and easy to decorate with. Shag rugs can be handmade or machine made using a variety of constructions. The distinctive feature of this quality is the longer length of the fibers. The fibers may be fine and silky or thick and soft.