4 Unique Factors Why Rugs Are Expensive

4 Unique Factors Why Rugs Are Expensive - Arrant Luxury

Rugs, the understated heroes of interior design, have the power to transform spaces and add a touch of luxury underfoot. Yet, the question persists — why are some rugs so expensive? In this exploration, we dissect the factors that contribute to the hefty price tags of expensive rugs, with a focus on handwoven, handmade, high-quality, and handmade wool rugs. 

  1. The Art of Handweaving

At the heart of many expensive rugs lies the intricate art of handweaving. Craftsmen, often following age-old techniques passed down through generations, meticulously weave individual fibers into complex patterns, creating a rug that is not just a functional piece, but a work of art. Handweaving is a time-intensive process that demands skill, patience, and a deep understanding of the rug's design. 

How to Spot a Good One 

  • Inspect Knot Density: Higher knot density often indicates a more intricately woven rug. Run your fingers over the surface – a dense weave should feel firm and robust. 
  • Check the Back: Examine the back of the rug; a well-made handwoven rug will have a clean, tight weave on the reverse side. 
  • Look for Consistency: In a high-quality handwoven rug, patterns should be consistent, and the edges should be well-defined without irregularities. 
  1. The Allure of Handmade Craftsmanship

Handmade rugs, crafted with a level of skill that machines cannot replicate, bear the mark of artisan expertise. Every knot tied; every thread woven is a testament to the artisan's dedication. The handmade process allows for customization, enabling the creation of unique designs that cater to individual tastes. This exclusivity and personal touch contribute to the higher cost of handmade rugs. 

How to Spot a Good One 

  • Feel the Texture: Handmade rugs often have a luxurious, tactile quality. Run your hand over the surface – a handmade rug should feel soft and plush. 
  • Examine the Fringe: Handmade rugs typically have hand-knotted fringes, a result of the weaving process. This detail adds to the authenticity of the rug. 
  • Look for Imperfections: Small imperfections, like slight color variations or irregularities in the pattern, can be a sign of authenticity in handmade rugs. 
  1. The Quest for High-Quality Materials

The choice of materials significantly influences the cost of a rug. High-quality rugs often use premium materials like silk, wool, or a combination of both. Natural fibers such as wool provide durability, resilience, and a luxurious feel underfoot. The sourcing and processing of these materials contribute to the overall expense, but they also ensure a rug that not only looks exquisite but withstands the test of time. 

How to Spot a Good One 

  • Check Fiber Type: Look for rugs made from high-quality fibers like New Zealand wool or silk. These materials offer superior texture and durability. 
  • Inspect Pile Height: A quality rug will have a consistent pile height, indicating a uniform and well-crafted surface. 
  • Test the Resilience: Press your thumb into the rug and release. A high-quality rug should quickly regain its shape, demonstrating resilience and elasticity. 
  1. The Elegance of Handmade Wool Rugs

Wool, celebrated for its natural beauty and resilience, remains a staple in the world of expensive rugs. Handmade wool rugs showcase the versatility of this material. Wool's natural properties include stain resistance, flame retardancy, and insulation, making it not just a design choice but a practical investment. The labor-intensive process of handcrafting wool rugs, from shearing to dyeing to weaving, contributes to the higher price. 

How to Spot a Good One 

  • Feel the Texture: High-quality wool rugs feel soft and dense. Run your fingers through the fibers – they should be fine and consistent. 
  • Check the Density: A well-made wool rug will have a dense pile, providing both comfort and durability. 
  • Examine the Backing: Turn the rug over; a quality handmade wool rug should have a tightly woven backing, indicating attention to detail. 

How to Navigate the Rug Market and Make Informed Choices 

  1. Understand Your Needs: Consider the purpose of the rug – whether it's a focal point in a formal living room or a cozy addition to a bedroom. Knowing your needs helps narrow down the options. 
  2. Research Rug Types: Familiarize yourself with different rug types, weaving techniques, and materials. Understanding the nuances will empower you to make informed decisions. 
  3. Inspect Quality Indicators: When shopping for a rug, look for indicators of quality such as knot density, material type, and craftsmanship. These factors can guide you towards a rug that aligns with your expectations. 
  4. Seek Reputable Sellers: Purchase from reputable sellers or dealers who provide information about the rug's origin, materials, and production process. A transparent seller can offer valuable insights. 
  5. Consider Long-Term Value: While expensive rugs may require a higher upfront investment, the long-term value, both aesthetically and financially, often justifies the cost. Think of it as an investment in a piece that will stand the test of time. 


  1. What sets handwoven rugs apart from machine-made ones?

Handwoven rugs are crafted manually by skilled artisans, knot by knot, resulting in a unique and intricate design. This labor-intensive process sets the rugs apart from machine-made rugs, offering a personalized touch and often higher quality. 

  1. What is the difference between handwoven and handmade rugs?

While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, handwoven rugs specifically refer to the technique of manually weaving each knot. Handmade rugs, on the other hand, encompass a broader category that includes various crafting techniques such as hand-knotting, hand-tufting, or hand-hooking. 

  1. Why are high-quality materials important in rugs?

High-quality materials, such as silk or premium wool, contribute to the durability, texture, and overall aesthetic of a rug. These materials often justify the higher cost as they enhance the rug's longevity, resilience, and luxurious feel. 

  1. What are some indicators of a high-quality rug?

Indicators of a high-quality rug include knot density, material type, consistent pile height, and craftsmanship. Attention to detail, fine materials, and a well-executed design are key factors that set high-quality rugs apart. 

  1. Are all handmade rugs expensive?

Handmade rugs can vary in price depending on factors such as materials, craftsmanship, and design complexity. While some handmade rugs can be expensive due to the quality and uniqueness, there are also more affordable options depending on the chosen materials and production techniques. 

  1. What is the significance of handcrafted rugs in interior design?

Handcrafted rugs bring a unique and personal touch to interior design. The intricate designs, quality materials, and artisanal craftsmanship can elevate the aesthetic of a space, making handcrafted rugs a popular choice for those seeking both functionality and artistic expression in their decor. 

  1. What makes a handmade wool rug desirable?

Handmade wool rugs are desirable for several reasons. Wool is a natural and durable fiber that provides comfort, resilience, and insulation. The craftsmanship involved in handmaking these rugs enhance the quality, making the rugs a sought-after choice for both aesthetics and practicality. 

  1. Can expensive rugs be considered an investment?

Yes, many expensive rugs are considered investments. The craftsmanship, quality materials, and often unique designs contribute to the long-term value of the rug. Collectors and enthusiasts often view expensive rugs as pieces that appreciate in both aesthetic and financial value over time.