What are the differences between a tufted rug and a knotted rug? Both tufted and knotted rugs are made by hand and that is the only thing they really have in common. Let’s take a look a few of the most notable differences. A tufted rug generally has two backings to it. The first back is a canvas (often times a muslin fabric). The pattern is made by punching colored wool yarns through it onto a stenciled design, creating the pile of the rug. This is done with a special gun like tool. They are not knotted through the canvas. This technique is time saving (up to a fourth the time) and helps the rugs be more affordable with a lower skill level. Then there is a secondary backing (called a scrim) attached, along with any fringing or hems with a glue or adhesive. One important thing to note, is that a new hand tufted rug, may give off a nasty petroleum smell. There is not much anyone can do to lessen this smell as it has to do with the adhesive. Something else to keep in mind, is that if you have furry family members, urine flushes cannot be completely done on this style of rug as you cannot flush it thoroughly through the adhesive layer.
Over time and natural wear and tear, the latex for the backing and adhesive will begin to break down and cause a powdery white substance. The backing may also begin to peel off. If left unattended to this can cause damage to flooring underneath the rug. You will have to decide if you want to re-back the rug or toss it.
Hand knotted rugs are more complex. If you have a complex pattern it does take very dense knotting and a lot of time. Fun fact, an average weaver can tie around 10, 000 knots a day, so you can imagine how long a very large, dense rug would take to make. That is why the are more expensive, the skill and time really add up. A hand knotted rug will last longer than a hand tufted rug. A good highly quality hand knotted rug that is well maintained and taken care of can last many generations. Hot tip! If you flip a rug over that you are not sure is hand knotted or tufted, that will tell the tale. Tufted have sewn edges and fringing, with a solid backing. Hand knotted rugs, the image will be mirrored on the back. Hand knotted rugs will also not shed as easily as a tufted rug. There may be some initial shedding, but it should slow to stop with in a relatively short time frame.
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