Most rugs that can be made by machine were originally made by hand. This means that almost all styles of rugs that come from factories exist as handmade rugs as well. Braided, knotted, and rag rugs are all different types of handmade rugs. Different areas of the world have unique motifs used in making rugs, and many of these are still made by individual craftsmen. Aside from traditional styles, there are also highly unique rugs made in new and innovative ways.
Among the different types of handmade rugs, knotted varieties are some of the most common. These rugs use different colors to create patterns of knots, and different cultures are known to use different patterns. There are several different techniques used to make these rugs, but most involve tying short lengths of yarn densely around other yarn. Handmade versions of knotted rugs are extremely time consuming to make because each piece of yarn is knotted separately.
Woven rugs come in many different styles and shapes and can be made out of a variety of materials. Handmade rugs of this type are usually flat, although some may be textured. When woven rugs are made out of rags, they usually bear the texture of the fabrics from which the rags were made. Braided rugs are similar to woven rag rugs, and handmade rugs of this type are usually valued for the imperfections and variations within the rags.
Many differences between types of handmade rugs come not from the ways in which the rugs are made, but in the designs represented in the rugs. Traditional motifs from Russia, for example, are very different from traditional American designs. Crafters often put new spins on traditional motifs, making old designs in new colors or even overhauling the entire craft and making unique modern designs. When making knotted rugs, for example, a person has the potential to represent almost any image because each piece of yarn works like a pixel. As such, many new designs can be found among modern handmade rugs.
In addition to traditional rug-making techniques, some crafters innovate new ways of making rugs by hand as well. For example, colorful felted ball rugs are not made by a traditional technique and may be textured in very interesting ways. Unusual materials, such as metal or wood, may play into modern rug making as well, although getting too creative with a rug may make it less functional and more artistic. Like all handmade items, handmade rugs are as different as the artists who create them.