There is something special about knowing that a particular rug was made by hand. It means that there was an individual rug maker who personally made sure that the carpet was perfectly designed and executed, not a factory machine somewhere that spit out dozens of carpets an hour.
That being said, when you are shopping for the perfect rug for your home or collection, you may be confronted by two terms which sound similar: hand-knotted vs. hand-tufted rugs. Although they sound similar, they indicate very different things about the way the rug was made.
What Is a Hand-Tufted Rug?
A hand-tufted rug is developed by carefully using a tool known as a tufting gun. To use this tool, the canvas is first stretched across the frame and outlined with the carpet pattern to guide the carpet maker. The tufting gun will then be used to punch strands of yarn into the canvas, carefully following the outlined pattern. See how it works in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLglIhy2N6Q
While a degree of skill is required to properly operate the tool as well as accurately following the pattern, hand-tufting does not necessarily require the same level of training and expertise as hand-knotted rug weavers do.
What Is a Hand-Knotted Rug?
By contrast, a hand-knotted rug typically follows weaving techniques employed for generations to create lusciously ornate rugs. Weavers must physically tie each knot required for the rug to the canvas tightly and in intricate designs. While there may be some local variations in techniques, most hand-knotted rugs are created by knotting the yarn around a base string, often made of cotton fiber.
Most expert weavers are capable of tying about 10,000 knots a day. This means that each rug can take days or longer to complete, as opposed to a few hours in the case of a hand-tufted rug.
Understanding the Value of Your Hand-Made Rugs
Both hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs can be beautiful decorations and wonderful additions to any home, but in the long term there are a few differences in their value.
Hand-knotted rugs tend to be of higher quality and have a longer life span. While this may not matter too much for those looking for home décor, those looking instead to make an investment or to buy something destined to be a family heirloom may find this to be a significant difference. A hand-knotted carpet, when cared for properly, has the potential to last easily through several generations.
Since a hand-knotted rug is unique and created using age-old techniques, they also have a much greater likelihood of becoming a collector’s item and having rising value. Although not every rug will see the value increase over the years, a hand-knotted rug has a much greater chance of gaining value than a hand-tufted rug.
No matter which technique was used, hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs are developed with care and can both make beautiful additions to any home. View our collection of discounted authentic hand-knotted Persian rugs, hand-knotted Oriental rugs, or hand-tufted area rugs from around the world to find one that fits your own space.