Hand Tufted Versus Hand Knotted– Bradford's Rug Gallery

Hand Tufted Versus Hand Knotted

What's the Difference?

We do our very best to carry the best quality hand-made, wool area rug options, while also doing our best to carry a wide range of price options. When starting an area rug search it can be overwhelming to take in all your options - sizes, styles, colors, construction, etc. That is why we are here to help.

Often times with customers just starting their search one of the most frequent questions is regarding prices and why one rug is significantly more expensive than another.

Cost is typically dictated by three things: construction, quality, and fineness. Construction is how the the rug is made, quality refers to the quality of materials used in making the rug, and fineness refers to the level of detail in the pattern of the rug, similar to pixels in a digital photo. I'm going to talk a little bit about construction.

Below are some side by side comparisons of hand tufted rugs (on the left) and hand knotted rugs (on the right). Hand knotted rugs typically being of a much higher quality construction, gives them a higher price tag. 

Tangier Classic  versus  Vintage Farahan

With a hand knotted rug the weaver hand ties yarn around each warp (vertical foundation thread) creating individual knots, this row of knots is then secured with one or more wefts (horizontal foundation thread) that are then packed securely into place, on top of which another row of knots is tied and the process continues. This is an intrinsically strong structure that will withstand many years of wear.

Hand Tufted Construction versus Hand Knotted Construction

With hand tufted rugs, a pattern is printed on a pre-woven cotton foundation, the artisan than uses a hand-guided piece of machinery to poke yarns through the back of the existing foundation, following along the pattern somewhat like a color-by-number. Once complete a latex glue is then applied to the back of the rug (this is what holds it together) and then cotton canvas put over the back to cover up the glue. The latex glue that holds the wool pile in place breaks down over time and eventually the rug will begin to come apart. The heavier the wear the faster the latex glue will break down.

Galaxy 04 versus Fall

Don't get me wrong - there is a time and a place for all rugs. That is why we offer both hand tufted and hand knotted rugs. Tufted rugs are usually significantly less expensive than hand knotted rugs, if you don't have the budget for a hand knotted rug a tufted rug can often be the perfect solution. But, when you are pricing area rugs and you notice there is a vast price difference between two rugs it is likely due to the difference in construction, quality, and/or fineness of the rugs you are comparing.


Craft 00 versus White wash Heriz

If you would like to learn more about the differences in construction, quality, and fineness, come visit our show room and we'll be happy to talk more with you about all things rugs!