I asked Des about the difference between some of the types of rugs:
“There are two distinct types of woven rugs, but both may exhibit similar design styles which customers may loosely refer to as Oriental or Persian designs. These designs are commonly known as – Kazak, Herati, Agra, Sarouk, Bidjar, Gulturk, Belouch, Hamadan, Tehran, Shiraz, Kashan, Afghan and indeed many more.
The original woven products were, and still are hand-made products and some of these can be extremely expensive depending on the weave concentration, the design complication and also the finished size of the rug. I would strongly advise all customers who are considering a purchase of a hand-made rug to inspect the product before purchase. The reason that I say this is because many such rugs may have weaving faults which are not obvious on an online image. If the retailer does not have a returns policy that is sympathetic then a customer could be stuck with an expensive problem. The argument from some retailers of such rugs, that weaving faults are an enhancing feature, is absolute nonsense. A wise buyer of hand-made rugs will always inspect first, and I have seen many rugs rejected by such buyers – I have seen a whole stack of perhaps thirty pieces deliver only four or five good rugs. The Internet is a great way to get rid of problem hand-made rugs to an unsuspecting consumer. The hand-made rug industry is also known to involve children in the production process although some will never admit this.
Machine Made woven rugs, which are the only type that we sell, can be made to exacting specification consistency. When made in this manner there is in fact little room for error and the end product is reliable and regular. In fact, you get what you see and what you pay for, time after time. These rugs are woven on modern, sophisticated computer-controlled weaving machines that dictate reliable finish and product control. This method can reproduce any of the original designs formerly associated with the hand-made industry.”