What Is A Tufted Rug?

Hand Tufted Tribal Paola from Raymount by NuLoom

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

Moroccan Abstract Diamonds Berta Rug from Bromont by NuLoom

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.


Hand Tufted Tribal Paola from Raymount by NuLoom

Hand-tufted rugs come in a variety of colors and styles from traditional to contemporary. Many hand-tufted rugs showcase the traditional designs that made hand-knotted rugs a sought after piece.

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 Loomed Jute Wide Border Laird Rug from Saultree by NuLoom

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.


Diamond Eye Roslyn Shaggy from Bromont by NuLoom

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.

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