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Hand-knotted rugs are the cream of the crop when it comes to area rugs and carpets. Artisans construct hand-knotted rugs completely by hand, using only individual strands of fabric. They can take up to an entire year to complete depending on the design, size, and skill of the artisan. They truly are ‘handmade’ rugs.
Hand-tufted rugs are made using a tufting tool to punch the yarn into a fabric backing to hide the glue that is holding the rug together. In the process, a stencil canvas is stretched behind so the design can be traced/punched into the rug. The tufting gun speeds up the process significantly and very little skill is needed to complete a tufted rug.
Image via rugsandbeyond.com
Machine made rugs are made by large machines called power looms. A power loom is electrically automated and controlled by computers. Machine made rugs can be made quickly and are manufactured with materials including wool and synthetic fibers such as polypropylene, nylon, polyester, acrylic and art silk.
Hand-knotted rugs are typically made from natural materials such as cotton, silk, wool and jute. Hand-tufted rugs also use natural materials. Both types of rugs commonly use wool. Machine-made rugs predominantly use synthetic materials, such as polyester, nylon, and polypropylene. Every now and then, wool, silk, cotton will be used to produce a machine-made rug, but this doesn’t happen as frequently.
When it comes to appearance, hand-knotted rugs have the most “handmade” and organic appearance. They have slight imperfections and variations that show they have been made by hand. Hand-tufted rugs are all but indistinguishable from their hand-knotted cousins when seen from the front, though there aren’t as many imperfections. Since they’re made with calibrated and programmed machines, every machine-made rug is perfectly uniform. Rough angles and design imperfections are hard to find.
What’s your favourite type of rug? Or would you like to know more about rugs from an expert? Walk into one of our stores for a wide range of hand-knotted, hand-tufted and machine-made rugs, understanding the difference between each and finding one that is perfect for your home or office.