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Why are some designs hand-knotted and others hand-woven?

When looking at the details of Rug Your City, you're likely to notice that there are different construction techniques mentioned in the production notes: flatweaves, embroidered flatweaves and hand-knotted rugs. You may be wondering, why are some designs produced in some methods and not others? It comes down to match-making: putting together the right design with the right construction.

Hand-knotted and hand-woven rugs are both made by hand, however, they each employ a unique weaving technique that affects their quality, texture, design complexity and price. 

Hand-knotted rugs are almost always more expensive than hand-woven, as their production process is longer and more complex. This construction is most appropriate when dealing with a highly-detailed design or a motif that contains a number of curved lines. Curves can only be produced with the kind of very intricate, dense knots found in hand-knotted rugs. 

Hand-woven rugs are also entirely made by hand, but the technique is faster and requires less material. The style of weaving does not allow for tight curves, which is why many motifs have a rectilinear feel to them, making this construction is particularly suited to geometric rug designs. It also offers an affordable option that is still entirely made by hand.

At times, some techniques can be applied to hand-woven and hand-knotted rugs to add extra richness or depth: for hand-woven rugs this can be embroidery or double-weaving on specific elements; for hand-knotted this can be shaving/clipping parts of the rug to create a 3D effect.

For Rug Your City, we have identified the basic construction method most appropriate for each design, and will explore additional techniques during the prototyping process. Out intention with this approach is to reliably produce quality handmade rugs that will look great and reflect a range of price points for backers.

Erin Eisinger
Erin Eisinger


Floorplan CEO and Co-Founder. Designer. Storyteller. Entrepreneur.