Hand-tufted rugs are durable and wear well if looked after well – they are most suited to domestic environments. They may not last forever, which can be a good thing if you like to change your interiors every 7- 10 years.
Hand-knotted rugs are considered to be Heirloom Quality. Because of their careful and hardwearing rug construction they can last a lifetime. However, a Hand Knotted rug is more costly than a hand-tufted rug – the cost depends on the number of knots used. Hand knotted rugs are great for commercial situations where there is higher footfall as they are more robust than a hand tufted rugs.
Tufted rugs are fantastic if you are on a budget and unable to invest in a hand knotted rug, or if you want to buy multiple rugs to keep up with trends or enjoy changing around your decor.
The cost of a knotted rug isnʼt the only deciding factor for the value. There are a wide range of hand knotted rugs- the higher the knot count the better the quality. Knot counts can be as low as 40 knots and as high as 200 knots (which is a tapestry liek quality). The higher the knot count the longer t takes to make the rug and the more costly it is to weave it.
Tufted rugs also come in a varitey of different qualities. At Sonya Winner Rug Studio our rugs are made from a superior quality New Zealand wool tufted rug with long wool fibres. Other rug sellers may use Nepalese or Tibetan wool in their rugs which is a less expensive alternative but does not give the Vibrant colours we are able to achieve using New Zealand wool and the Swizz Azo free dyes we specify. Natural dyes can not achieve these colours and will fade even if used on New Zealand wool.
So how can you tell the difference visually between a Hand-Knotted and Hand-Tufted rug? There are a few key things you will notice.
The most obvious would have to be the back of the rug. A hand-tufted rug will have a canvas backing glued to the back of the rug. Whilst the back of hand knotted rugs will be a translation of the front side of the rug in tapestry style stitches. You can see each individual knot on hand knotted rugs on the reverse side and be able to count the knots per square inch.
The second thing to notice is the rug thickness. Tufted rugs are typically thicker and knotted rugs normally have a flatter pile. If a low pile height of the rug is important to you – for example if the rug is in a hallway and a door will have to open on top of it – be sure to measure the clearance in order to help you decide what type of rug will work best! A knotted runner can be made at a minimum of 4mm high whilst a tufted rug due to the layer of glue and canvas will not be made less than 10mm high.
In todayʼs world, people are buying rugs for design, not necessarily of the number of knots in them. Many high quality art rugs are tufted. Nowadays the value of a rug is within the design and aesthetics, just as much as in quality.