Hand-tufted, hand-knotted, handmade, these rug types can get a bit confusing, especially when you’re shopping for a new rug. If you’re a bit confused about what a tufted rug is, we’ve got the answers. While they sound similar, hand-tufted rugs are not constructed with the heirloom quality hand-knotted rugs are but are still considered higher end when compared to machine-made rugs. Hand-tufted rugs were designed to be a more affordable option to hand-knotted rugs and can still be crafted by an artisan.
A tufted rug is created using a special tool that attaches the rug material to a canvas with a pre-printed pattern. The drill-like tool is used to make the pile of the rug. Once this is completed, a latex covering is applied to the back to assure the tufts stay in place. Finally, a canvas-type backing completes the rug. The latex covering can cause some tufted rugs to have an odor. This petroleum-like odor often doesn’t fade away with time.
Tufted Versus Knotted
Hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs are both visually stunning but vary greatly in price and quality. Hand-knotted rugs are fashioned entirely by hand, unlike hand-tufted rugs which are crafted with a special tool. A hand-tufted rug can be made in a relatively short time. Hand-knotted rugs can take months because each knot is done by hand. Hand-knotted rugs also don’t have a backing, unlike hand-tufted rugs which is a quick way to tell the difference.
Due to the painstaking process to fashion a hand-knotted rug, the price tag typically much higher. Since hand-knotted rugs are made entirely by hand, the end results are often one-of-a-kind works of art and heirlooms that can be passed from generation to generation. Hand-knotted rugs win out when it comes to durability, but a hand-tufted rug can last for a decade or two with proper care.
Unlike hand-knotted rugs, hand-tufted rugs are not unique. Hand-knotted rugs are crafted individually by hand, so there aren’t two that will be identical. That is not true for hand-tufted rugs even though they are made by hand. If you love the warmth and look of a hand-tufted rug, you will most certainly discover a layout to suit your particular style.
Decorating with Tufted Rugs
Hand-tufted rugs will look amazing in pretty much any room. Smaller hand-tufted rugs make for excellent accents at the foot of a bed or to anchor a sitting area in the living room. Try a smaller, brightly colored tufted rug in the nursery or add one to a teen’s bedroom. You can even pop one in the bathroom in front of the vanity to inject an element of coziness.
Larger tufted rugs are a perfect pick for a loft or a master bedroom. Just remember to consider the foot traffic of the area the hand-tufted rug will be occupying. Hand-tufted rugs don’t have the longevity of hand-knotted rugs but will stand the test of time with regular maintenance.
Proper care prolongs the life of an area rug. Weekly vacuuming is recommended for most rugs and hand-tufted rugs are not an exception. Regular vacuuming prevents dirt and dust from building up and getting embedded in the tufts as does regular rotation. Rotating hand-tufted rugs can prevent damage from long term sun exposure and foot traffic.
For most rugs, a periodic shake out is helpful, but not for hand-tufted rugs. Shaking or beating a tufted rug can actually damage the fibers. Address any stains as quickly as possible. Blotting with a clean cloth and lukewarm water usually takes care of most stains on a tufted rug. Avoid rubbing since the process grinds the stain deeper into the fibers. A rug pad is suggested for a hand-tufted rug because the backing can shed over time and a pad prevents the dust from building up on the floor underneath.