For those people who are not exactly rug connoisseurs, hand-knotted and hand-tufted carpets might seem the same. However, there are some obvious differences, which upon examination of both types of rugs, make themselves known to you. Here are a few of those differences between hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs that can help you identify rugs the moment you lay eyes on them. Not only that, these differences will help you decide which rug would be best for you.

Cost

The cost of a hand-knotted rug is higher than a hand-tufted one because of many reasons. One of the reasons is that creating a hand-knotted rug is a far more complicated process than hand-tufting. It requires a certain level of skill and hard work to knot a rug, especially when the knot density is supposed to be high. The hand-knotted rugs in India are often created by artisans who have been practising this art for years and have inherited the knowledge of it from their ancestors.

Their art and their family’s legacy are invaluable but it is also their livelihood, so if a price tag needs to be put on it, then it should be enough to appreciate the value of such legacy. Hand-tufting is not as complicated as hand-knotting, so hand-tufted carpets can be found at a lower cost.

Procedure

The procedure to create hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs is quite different from each other. The biggest difference is that while hand-knotted rugs are completely man-made, hand-tufted rugs are partially made with the use of a machine called a tufting gun that weaves individual strands of wool into the canvas which is glued to the back of the rug. Another difference is that each hand-knotted rug is made by knotting every thread individually while a hand-tufted rug is made by creating loops of the wool strand that are then cut to create the pile.

Because of this, hand-tufted rugs are thicker than hand-knotted rugs as the former has a higher pile while the latter has a pile that is much flatter and uneven. A big addition to hand-tufted rugs is the canvas that is glued to their backs. Such a thing does not exist in the case of hand-knotted rugs.

Quality

It is a truth universally acknowledged that rugs are a precious piece of your interior decoration and if you buy the right rug, it can stay with you for years and years. You can even pass it on to your descendants as an heirloom. Only rugs of the highest quality can go through generations without showing much wear and tear and hand-knotted rugs are exactly that. They are made with hard work and patience, ensuring that they last long, so you can be assured that it won’t be a shoddy job.

The very feel of a hand-knotted rug is evidence of its high quality because the moment you touch it, you realise the luxury of its texture. Hand-tufted rugs, on the other hand, are not made to last too long. The way they are made makes them prone to be worn down easily. Their look and feel also don’t reflect luxury like hand-knotted rugs because you don’t get to see a high level of craftsmanship as you do in any hand-knotted rug.

Durability

The biggest benefit of getting hand-knotted rugs over hand-tufted ones is that the former are extremely durable. Because of the density of knots in them, they become quite sturdy and don’t show wear and tear that easily. They are less likely to fall apart because of the way the knots are secured. Even if there are loose threads, the rug does not get affected by it. You can visit any hand-knotted rug showroom in Agra to verify this.

Hand-tufted rugs can be a rush job and because the pile is kept intact by using glue and a canvas backing for hiding the glue, they are not as durable. It is so because as time passes, the glue will eventually stop working its magic and holding the rug together. So, it is better to keep the hand-tufted rugs in areas of low foot traffic to protect them from wear.

Manufacturing Time

A hand-knotted rug takes a lot of time to make. The time varies depending on the design, the knot density, the technique employed, and more. The more complex the design, the more time it takes to make it. If the count of knots per square inch is high, then also plenty of time is taken by the craftsmen to create a proper rug. It is not the case with hand-tufted rugs. Since a machine, albeit operated by the craftsmen, is involved in the manufacturing process, the rugs become ready in very little time.

Where a hand-knotted rug can take months to be completed, a hand-tufted rug only takes a few days, and sometimes not even that as it gets completed the same day. This manufacturing time is a testament to the type of hard work that goes into making these rugs. It is with no doubt one can say that hand-knotted rugs are created with a good amount of skill and hard work.

Materials

The materials used for hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs can vary. Where the former is made of natural fibres, often cotton, the latter can include a mixture of natural and synthetic materials. Hand-tufted rugs are more commonly created with wool. This is why both types of rugs feel so different. The feeling of luxury that comes from touching a hand-knotted carpet cannot really be found when it comes to hand-tufted rugs.

Value

Hand-knotting takes a great amount of skill and this skill is often inherited by the craftsmen along with the knowledge of this craft. Their ancestors have left them this legacy which is the livelihood of their bloodline through generations. This is why the value of a hand-knotted rug is extremely high and only keeps on increasing as time passes by. Hand-tufted rugs don’t take as much skill to make and because of their inability to withstand much wear and tear, their value only decreases with time.

The Bottom Line

These are just a few of the differences between hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs. You can find a good collection of these rugs upon visiting any rug showroom in Agra, and there you can select the type of rug that you prefer.

Siddharth Kalra

Founder of The Rugs Cafe-'We Brew Rugs' company, e-tailing the traditional carpet experience to global platforms. Founder of Kalra Consultancy Services, providing end-to-end digitization solutions and disrupting business models across multi-channel industries. Working as a Program Manager at Alphaa AI-AI Data Platform startup - 'Alexa for Data Warehouse', raised $1.6 million dollars. 🚀🚀 CMO at Kalra's Cottage Industry- Promoting the local community of highly skilled artisans by producing luxurious rugs from the Mughal Era. CMO at The International School Agra- enabling future visionaries of India. Bachelor of Business Administration specialized in Finance from Christ University, Bangalore.

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