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What is the Difference Between Hand-knotted and Hand-tufted Rugs?

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Blue and White Rug from Surya

Blue and White Rug from Surya

Photo (c) Surya
Question: What is the Difference Between Hand-knotted and Hand-tufted Rugs?
Answer: Even though both hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs are made by hand, they are very different in many respects. The process of creating both types of rugs is different in complexity, time and skill level. The resulting product may also have a different look and feel. They can also differ in cost and longevity.

Lets go a little more into detail:

Hand-knotted Rugs:

Weaving a hand-knotted rug requires skill and time. The quality of a hand-knotted carpet is determined by the number of knots per square inch, and a higher density means better quality.

A complex pattern can require very dense knotting and it can take a long time to produce. An average weaver can tie about 10,000 knots per day. So you can imagine how long it can take to complete one rug. The time involved also accounts for hand-knotted rugs costing more.

Learn how hand-woven rugs are made.

Hand-tufted Rugs:

A hand tufted rug is made by punching strands of wool into a canvas which is stretched on a frame. This is accomplished with the help of a hand operated tool. This process is not very time intensive, and does not require the same level of skill that hand-knotting does.

After piling with wool, the rug is removed from the frame and a scrim fabric is glued to the back, while a fringe is added by either sewing on, or gluing.

How hand-tufted rugs are made.

Cost Differece:

A hand-tufted rug will generally cost less than a hand-knotted rug, because it is produced using a less labor and skill intensive process.

Life Span:

A hand-knotted rug will generally outlast a hand-tufted one. It can become a family heirloom and last for generations if it is used with care. A hand-tufted rug will not last as long.

Value:

Value is determined not by how little or how much a rug costs. A good quality hand-knotted rug, can become a collector's item, but you must remember this doesn't hold true for just any rug, because there is a whole range from poorly made to exquisite. Hand-tufted rugs never quite achieve the heirloom status because they are never one of a kind.
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