What You Don’t Know About Hand-Tufted Rugs Could Hurt You

hand tufted rug front and back, Behnam Rugs Dallas

Hand Tufted Rugs

What you don’t know about hand-tufted rugs could hurt you!  Hand-tufted rugs are not the same as Persian/Oriental rugs. These rugs are made with a tufting gun that shoots loops of yarn into a fabric backing. Once finished, glue is applied to the back of the rug to hold those yarn loops together. Then a second fabric is applied onto the glue. This means the glue is between two layers of fabric. Many dogs are sensitive to the smell of the glue used to make tufted rugs. When this happens the pet will soil your rug. These fumes are irritants to dogs, children, and the elderly.

One simple way to identify a tufted rug is to look at how the rug is put together. A hand-knotted rug is one for which each and every one of its knots is knotted by hand.  Each strand of wool or silk is knotted by hand onto the loom. The more knots per square inch, the clearer the detail and the more expensive the rug.

When rugs are hand-knotted, the back of the rug is almost the mirror image of the front in terms of color and clarity. The back of a very fine handmade rug is virtually indistinguishable from the front! Also, the fringe of the rug — those longer threads on the end – is hand-knotted to the rug. Without that fringe, the rug itself would unravel. The fringe is an integral part of the rug itself.

The Difference Between Hand-Tufted and Hand-Knotted

On the other hand, rugs that are hand-tufted are not authentic hand-knotted rugs. Hand-tufted means that a mechanical device resembling a gun was used to attach tufts of cloth to a canvas backing. The strands of cloth are punched through the canvas, and then a glue-like substance is painted on the canvas to keep the cloth fibers from falling out.

There are no knots. While there is a person wielding this gun, hand-tufted rugs are not considered to be hand-made. And because the cloth is attached to a canvas backing, the underside of the rug has no pattern on it at all. Moreover, on tufted rugs, the fringes are usually glued on.

The terms hand-woven or hand-knotted are used exclusively for rugs that are made entirely by hand. The fibers of the rug are woven through the warp strings or knotted onto the warp strings by hand. It is a process that takes a great degree of skill and a good amount of time to complete.

Because genuine hand-knotted Persian and Oriental rugs are hand-knotted, they will last a long, long time. They also hold their value well. They are often considered to be works of art. Tufted rugs, on the other hand, are little more than decorative items that wear out relatively quickly, usually within about three years. They are considerably less expensive than hand-knotted Persian and Oriental rugs because they are simply not as well made.

Because of their durability, hand-knotted rugs are also more eco-friendly and sustainable. They are not meant to be discarded. Because they are so valuable, they should be repaired if damaged. That is not the case with tufted rugs, which end up in landfills.

If you’d like to learn more about how to tell the difference between a hand-knotted and hand-tufted rug, visit our Behnam Rugs showroom in Dallas. We’d be happy to show you how these rugs are very, very different. Give us a call at 972-733-0400 to make an appointment. You can also learn more about the process of buying a rug by reading our blog.