Everything You Need To Know About Hand-Knotted Rugs

RLC01 from Relic by Kaleen

If you want to bring a sense of timeless style to your home, you can’t do much better than a hand-knotted rug. Hand-knotted rugs are carefully and individually crafted by the hands of skilled rug makers using techniques that have been passed down for hundreds of years. A hand-knotted rug will bring an inspired, dignified feeling into your home, breathing life into any room.

Every hand-knotted rug has a touch of sacredness to it because each hand-knotted rug is made by a skilled weaver who spends months tying every single knot to form beautiful patterns. These rugs are not only sacred because of the care that goes into each one but because of the time needed to make them. Hand-knotted rugs can take anywhere from 30 days to 8 years to complete. If you want to bring something really special and one-of-a-kind into your home, a hand-knotted rug is a perfect choice.

Hand-Knotted Rugs VS Hand Tufted Rugs

Hand Tufted vs Hand Knotted

A hand-knotted rug is not the same thing as a hand-tufted rug. While they may initially look and feel very similar, they are made with very different techniques and hold up differently over time. Hand-knotted rugs are made by meticulously tying every single knot in a rug, while hand-tufted rugs use a tool called a tufting gun to speed up the process. Traditionally, hand-knotted rugs are made with a specially designed loom. Vertical threads are tied onto the loom and eventually become the fringe of the rug. Horizontal threads intertwine to create a foundation. Knots are tied to the vertical threads, and then cut and tied again to secure each knot.

A tufting gun punches strands of fiber into a canvas backing and then held in place with an adhesive. The canvas is imprinted with the design of the rug so that the fiber can follow the specific design and trace the stencil as the strands of fiber are punched. Hand-tufted rugs take a fraction of the time to produce and, as a result, are much more affordable than hand-knotted rugs. Hand-knotted rugs are ultimately higher in quality, but both are very durable and can be placed in high traffic areas.

Materials Used In Hand-Knotted Rugs


The vast majority of hand-knotted rugs are not made with synthetic materials like polypropylene, nylon, acrylic, or polyester. Instead, most hand-knotted rugs are made with natural fibers like silk or wool. Hand-knotted rugs from silk are typically more expensive and highly sought after because of their luxurious texture, but the most common material used in hand-knotted rugs in wool.

Wool is hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial, and a renewable source of material. Most hand-knotted rugs are made with sheep’s wool but varieties can be found with wool from goats or alpacas. Hand-knotted rugs are also commonly made with multiple kinds of material. A mixture of wool and silk is very popular in hand-knotted rugs. A rug made out of these two materials is predominately woven with wool while the silk is woven in periodically to add a luxurious touch to the final product.

Are Oriental rugs Hand-Knotted?

The term “Oriental rug” is thrown around quite often. This term can refer to several different styles, but Oriental rugs can only truly be classified as such if they are hand-knotted. Hand knotting is an ancient technique that is largely unchanged from the process used today. These beautiful rugs are works of art and draw attention in any room they’re are placed. Because hand-knotted rugs are made with wool and silk, they are very durable, soft, and stain resistant.

Not every hand-knotted rug is traditional. Many contemporary styles like shag rugs are hand-knotted to help keep the threads together. Even modern designs can become family heirlooms when hand-knotted.

The Knots of Hand-Knotted Rugs

There are three main knots used in hand-knotted rugs.

  • The Persian knot (Senneh knot)

Persian Knots

The Persian knot is asymmetrical and open to one side, which leaves fewer gaps and is less bulky than Turkish knots. Persian knots are most commonly used for intricate designs and floral patterns. Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Tibet, and China typically use the Persian knot.

  • The Turkish knot (Ghiordes knot)

Turkish Knots

The Turkish knot is symmetrical and leaves two small bumps within each knot on the back of the rug—it ends up looking like a double knot. Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and northern Iran are more likely to use this type of knot.

  • The Jufti knot

Jufti Knot

The Jufti knot, or false knot, is tied around four threads instead of two, creating a short cut. The weaver spends less time on a rug when using a Jufti knot, which results in quicker processing time and a lower value and quality.

The number of knots on a hand-knotted rug will determine the value, along with age, design, and material.

Caring For A Hand-Knotted Rug

EXI-1001 from Elixir by Surya

Hand-knotted rugs, like every other rug, need to be rotated. Every few months, rotate your rug 90 degrees to increase the longevity of your beautiful heirloom. This will keep the wear on the rug even, especially if one area is receiving more sunlight or traffic than the other corners. Like other rugs, a rug pad is recommended to protect both your rug and your floor. Your hand-knotted rug will be prone to shedding at first, but after the first few weeks, the shedding will decrease and eventually stop completely.

When shopping for a new rug, make sure you choose a hand-knotted rug that is large enough to fit your room. If you choose a rug that is too small, the room will look smaller and the decor will seem out of place. Make sure to measure your space before ordering a new rug.

Everything You Need To Know About Hand Knotted Rugs

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