What's the difference between hand tufted and machine manufactured rugs?
There are three major ways to produce a rug. The first is the hand-knotted rug, a technique used for centuries. It uses a special loom and all knots are hand tied. It's more of an art form today. The second is the hand tufted technique. This type of crafting is considered hand made, but it uses some technology.
The creation of the rug uses a hand held drill that the producer inserts into the cloth base and makes a loop pile. If the loops are clipped, it's a cut pile and if not it's a hand-hooked rug. Latex coating then goes on the back to keep the tufts in place.
The third is the machine crafted rug. As the name indicates, machine manufactured rugs use a machine that's completely automated by computers.
The process to create these three types of rugs varies in length considerably. While the machine made rugs are produced quickly, the hand tufted and hand-knotted rugs take far longer. The gun used for the hand tufted rug makes the process far quicker. The hand-knotted rugs, since there is no machine to speed the process takes the longest. A high quality hand-knotted rug for an average size room may take over a year, while the hand tufted counterpart would take a day with many manufactured rugs made in that same day time frame.
If you check the back of the rug you'll get a good idea whether they are hand tufted or manufactured. Hand tufted rugs have the very thin layer of latex applied on the underside, whereas the manufactured rugs may have latex to prevent slippage or may not. One thing is sure, when you look at the back of a rug, if there is no latex and it looks perfect, with no lack of uniformity on the knots, it's machine made. Machine made rugs also have fringe sewn on rather than an extension of the fabric on the rug.
Hand tufted rugs are elegant and have the look that closely resembles the hand-knotted cousins. Each knot may be aided by a gun, but that doesn't prevent the worker from ensuring the detail and uniqueness that only people can create. The cost of manufactured rugs is far cheaper, therefore you can afford to change them often. The actual material used in the rug plays an important part of the quality, with wool being the most durable.
No matter which rug you choose to add to your home, one that fits the décor perfectly can give the room a completed, well designed appearance.