Hand-Knotted Vs. Hand-Tufted Rugs

Posted on: June 13th, 2018

The right area rug can dramatically improve a room’s overall appearance by connecting the furniture and accessories into a cohesive style. Rugs can also help hardwood or tile floors look and feel cozy, and they can prevent furniture from scratching flooring. Choosing a high-quality, handcrafted rug can ensure your home’s décor is unique and a true reflection of your personal design style. Generally, there are two options: hand knotted and hand tufted. Read on to learn more about each style so you can choose the best rug for your home.

Hand-Knotted Rug Overview

Hillcrest rug

Hand-knotted (or Oriental) rugs are generally made by hand by talented artisans using a special loom. The weaving process is quite intense, requiring each knot to be tied by hand on the loom. The fringe on the ends of the design is not merely decorative; it’s the base thread onto which the knots are tied and an integrated part of the overall construction.

Complex designs can require a significant amount of time to make, especially for pieces that adhere to certain quality standards that require a high density of knots per square inch. In some cases, it can take an artist several months to complete a single Oriental rug. Because of the amount of work that goes into each piece, these hand-knotted floor coverings can be costly. However, some of the unique benefits include:

  • Heirloom quality that can last for generations
  • One-of-a-kind artistic details
  • Reflection of the creator’s artistic style
  • Durable
  • Initial investment may increase in value
  • Symmetrical design on the front and back


Hand-Tufted Rug Overview


In contrast to hand-knotted styles, hand-tufted rugs are produced using a faster and less unique process. While these styles still rely on hand-operated tools rather than entirely automated machines, the overall process is less time-intensive than tying each knot in an Oriental rug by hand. Instead, the maker uses a tufting gun with to punch yarn or wool through a stretched canvas to create a pattern. When the pattern is complete, a fabric backing is glued on to finish the piece.

Because the strands are not knotted into the wool, tufted designs can be completed much more quickly than hand-knotted ones. A hand-tufted rug may be completed in as little as a single day. Although different from the knotted varieties, tufted rugs have their own benefits, including:

  • Affordable price
  • Unique appearance compared to completely machine-made options
  • Decorative fringe won’t affect the rug if damaged or removed
  • Inexpensive to replace when worn through or out of fashion

When you’re deciding between hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs, it comes down to your personal preferences. If you want to invest in a unique work of art that can last for decades, you may want an Oriental rug. If you prefer a handmade rug that’s more affordable to purchase and replace, you may enjoy a hand-tufted rug.


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