Is a Hand-tufted Rug for Me?

Tufted Rug Construction

© The Carpet and Rug Institute

Hand-tufted rugs are a new phenomenon, as compared to the hand-knotted carpets and dhurries we are more accustomed to seeing. A hand-tufted carpet is woven by inserting and pulling back strands of wool into a mesh canvas that is stretched on a frame – think wool tapestry in needlework class! The weaving is done using a manually operated tufting gun. When the ‘tufting’ is complete, the rug is washed and cut (if it is a cut-pile rug) and a woven canvas backing applied to the back with latex glue to hold the tufts in place (i.e. no knotting).

Tufted rugs are gaining in popularity. They require much less skill from the weaver (typically one week of training is sufficient) and so are easier, faster and, importantly therefore, cheaper to make. The cost can be 2-4 times lower than the equivalent hand-knotted rug and this has fuelled a frenzy of supply and demand.

Weaver Using Tufting Gun

Weaver Using Tufting Gun

Due to the sheer volume of designs and colours available at affordable prices, home owners can change their carpet to suit the décor more frequently and first-time home owners can afford a hand-made rug sooner than they would have in the past.

So how does one decide whether to buy hand-tufted or hand-knotted? As with all rugs, the visuals, i.e. colour and design, need to appeal to you – you will probably see the rug every day so must at least ‘like’ it, and preferably ‘love’ it!

Jaipur Rugs Tufting Centre in Mirzapur

Jaipur Rugs Tufting Centre

A hand-tufted rug has a lifespan of 5-10 years which is typically much shorter than a well-constructed hand-knotted rug, and they tend to be ‘less-exclusive’. Regular vacuuming is required and they can be professionally cleaned, but unlike hand-knotted carpets they should not be washed, as the glue tends to break-down when wet.

We have managed to get our hands on a large selection of tufted rugs for our current Jaipur Rugs exhibition and sale. These are in a 5′ x 8′, typical living room size, in florals, geometric and abstract designs. The ones with the raised pattern are of special interest as they are visually rich and very soft to the touch, typically in a mix of wool and viscose. Prices range between ₹12,500 to ₹14,500/- inclusive of VAT.

Do come and have a look, or browse our tufted carpets online – you won’t be disappointed!

Happy shopping!

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One Comment

  1. Rolando Montecalvo
    Posted 13 December 2013 at 14:43 | Permalink

    Nice write-up! I’d been meaning to educate myself on the difference between tufting and knotting, and now you’ve done it for me.

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