Machine made rugs are woven on power looms operated either by hand, machine or computer, hence their alternate name–”power loomed.” The design and colors are determined, and a computer card is created which tells the computer which size and color rug it needs to produce. The loom is strung with a warp of jute, or sometimes cotton. The rug is then woven using wool, nylon, polypropylene, olefin or another suitable yarn. Some common synthetic materials are olefin, which is resilient and if heat set, is not as shiny as many others; polypropylene, which tends to flatten more readily; and nylon which is generally less durable. 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.
Even though some machine made rugs are poor imitations of their handmade counterparts, many machine made rugs produced today rival the look and feel of new handmade pieces. One drawback to power loomed rugs is that once they get damaged, there is very little that can be done to repair them. Handmade rugs on the other hand can be professionally repaired and remain in use for many years. But overall, power loomed rugs are an excellent value and can be a wonderful addition to your décor.
Most machine made rugs will be limited to about 8 colors used and will often have machine stitched edges that are melted at the corners rather than tied.
Most machine made rug production is done in Egypt and Turkey though China and India are also large producers of these rugs.