The Difference Between Machine-Woven, Hand-Tufted, & Hand-Knotted Rugs

When shopping for a rug, many newcomers are often perplexed or indifferent to the many types of rugs they encounter.  A rug is a rug, right?  The answer is, not really.  When choosing your rug, it's actually very important to know a little about what you're getting into.  It could save a an immense about of time and money.


Machine-woven rugs are generally the thinnest rugs, at about 1/3 of an inch thick.  Some great things about them; they're durable, colorfast, and easy to clean. Many machine-woven rugs are made from synthetic fibers, such as nylon, olefin, and polyprophelyn, and they come in all kinds of styles.  They are also offered in wool.  Because these are made on machines, each has a bound or served edge.  These are the most affordable you will find.

These are usually about 1/2 of an inch thick, and are made from wool or synthetic yarn.  Hand-Tufted rugs are made by using a tufting gun to punch strands of yarn into a canvas.  The yarns are sheered and then a cotton backing is glued on.  These rugs come in many different styles, and they're thick, soft, and plush.  People love these rugs for their versatility and style.

This is the most intricate kind of rug to make, and usually the most valuable, because each yarn strand is tied by hand. Hand-knotted rugs are often quite thick at 3/4 of an inch or more.  They are luxurious and soft.  The soft backing is made of the warped and webbed yarn.

Price usually depends on several factors including the labor involved.  Hand-knotted rugs are the most labor intensive, and machine-woven the least.  Other factors include the type of yarn, where wool is usually more expensive than synthetic yarn.   Where a rug is made is another consideration, with China and India being less expensive than rugs made in the US and Europe.

Knowing this small bit of information will make designing your space easier, and probably much cheaper.  If you're on a tight budget, yet still need a rug to warm your room a bit, a machine-woven or hand-tufted rug might be best for you.  If  you are able to enjoy the finer things in life, and would like a longer lasting rug, hand-knotted rugs are the way to go.

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