Finally Explained- Why are Rugs so Expensive?

  • one month ago


If you’ve ever asked yourself “why are rugs so expensive” while buying one for your house, office, or commercial space, this article will explain it down to the T. When buying a rug, you may have come across expensive area rugs and been unable to understand what reasons lie behind its high price point. This article will answer how much does a rug cost and why so that you know what you’re paying for.


The Material Used

One of the greatest factors that determines what the MRP tag of the rug will say is the material it is made of.  Answering this will help you figure out why are some rugs so expensive and why some, even with a similar design as the pricier ones, are easier on the wallet. The material determines the durability, longevity, and ease of cleaning of the rug- three pretty important factors that go into determining how much rugs cost.


Wool is one of the most common materials used in weaving rugs. It is naturally renewable, durable, and very sturdy. A woolen rug will last you almost a lifetime without its quality degrading in colour or pattern. Wool rugs have a very luxurious texture and offer maximum underfoot comfort, much more than synthetic materials ever can. Explains why most expensive area rugs are made of wool, right?


Another natural fiber that is second to wool in durability and luxury, silk rugs have been coveted around the world since time immemorial. The famous Persian and Oriental rugs are either made of silk or a combination of wool and silk. Why are silk rugs so expensive?  That’s because they have the shiniest texture that oozes luxury from every inch. They require expert cleaning using only professional methods to keep them looking and feeling as good as new. These rugs are high on luxury and hence, not fit for spaces frequented by kids, pets, or those which have a heavy foot-traffic.

Hemp and Jute:

The lesser expensive alternatives in the natural fibers category, these materials are used in rugs often in combinations, made for high traffic areas and busy homes. They are commonly used in making dhurries and flatweave rugs and aren’t as heavy on the wallet as their wool and silk counter parts. So, if you want to avoid buying expensive area rugs, simply opt for a dhurrie made in jute and/or hemp. 


A synthetic alternative to the more expensive natural fibers, nylon is durable and versatile. It is both kid and pet-friendly and can endure high foot traffic. However, it has its downsides too. It is highly water absorbent, meaning that an accidental spill could potentially ruin your nylon rug.


An inexpensive synthetic option- polyester is stain-resistant and doesn’t react to spills as badly as nylon. However, it is surely less durable and rugs made of polyester have a very short lifespan. The fibers tend to come loose and the rugs fall apart much quicker and much more easily. Still wondering why are rugs so expensive?

The method of making the rug:

We all know that anything that is handmade and needs human expertise, skill, and time will cost more than mass-produced, machine-made things. The same applies to rugs as well. The hand-knotted rugs, which are made by hand by weaving each knot individually in a specially designed loom are, therefore, the most expensive. Then comes the hand-tufted kind which are made partially by hand and partially using a mechanized tool. This takes a lot less time and skill than hand-knotted rugs, which can only be made by highly-skilled, master artisans and weavers.
Hand-knotted rugs are also much more durable and will last you decades, as opposed to machine-made rugs. The labour that went into completing it ensures that every knot is safe and secured. So, when looking at expensive area rugs and thinking to yourself why are rugs so expensive, ask how the rug was made and how much time went into completing the piece of art.

The Knots per Square Inch:

A rug isn’t simply a piece of fabric that you lay in the middle of your living room or bedroom. Expensive area rugs come with that hefty price tag because they are works of art that you can walk on. Every hand-knotted rug tells the story of the designer, the weaver’s personality and the journey of making the rug. It is like a painting made over a long period of time with yarns of wool and silk. How much rugs cost is highly dependent on the quality of the rug and the time that went into weaving it. And that is further determined by the knots per square inch of the rug. It’s quite simple- the higher the knot density, the more the time that went into it, and consequently, the higher the price will be. Higher knot counts result in shinier, more plush-looking rugs. 
When you see Oriental or Persian rugs with intricate designs woven on them, you are looking at a high density hand-knotted rug that may have taken anywhere between 30 days to 8 years to make. Every knot is woven individually by hand, making the rug unique and one-of-a-kind in all the world. Think of expensive area rugs with a higher density of knots per square inch as high resolution images with a higher number of pixels per square inch.

Design and Pattern

That brings us to the next point in determining how much do rugs cost and why: when you buy a hand-knotted rug with a high knot count, you are investing in exclusive, rare designs that wouldn’t be possible on cheaper rugs with a lower knot density. The rarity of the design and the colours used (naturally dyed rugs are more expensive as the colours don’t fade with time) are some of the important determiners of why are rugs so expensive. If you are eyeing an antique rug, you are looking at not just a rug but a piece of art that carries the stamp of time and cultural influences that are reflected on the designs. No wonder some people buy it at auctions for thousands of dollars as a family heirloom that becomes the piece de resistance of their homes.

Production Ethics

Another aspect that determines how much a rug costs is the ethics that went into its production methods. Rugs made in high-scale factories that employ child labour and labour at extremely low wages will obviously sell at much cheaper prices. So, when you buy expensive area rugs, also make sure that other than the knots, the design, and the material, what are the production methods that went behind making the rug. Rugs that come with certification ensure that the people involved in the process are paid fair and square and treated humanely. 

So, why are rugs so expensive?

The answer is- not all rugs are expensive. Only the best quality rugs, hand-knotted or hand-tufted in wool and/or skill using natural dyes, by highly-skilled artisans and weavers who are paid fairly in nurturing work environments make for expensive area rugs. When you ask yourself why are rugs so expensive or what goes behind determining how much do rugs cost, don’t forget to keep these components in consideration. 


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