The Difference between Hand-tufted and Hand-woven Persian Carpets

Hand-tufted is handmade with a tufting gun, versus each knot hand-tied (taking approx. 10 seconds per knot)

The Difference Between Hand-Knotted & Hand-Tufted

Hand-knotted carpets are made through tradition, by skilled weavers, who work diligently and patiently on creating the carpet by design. Hand tufted rugs are made by punching strands of wool into a canvas that is stretched on a frame by using a hand operated tufting gun. Once the pile is created, the rug is removed from the frame & the carpet is secured with a heavy duty lining at the back.


Even though both hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs are made by hand, that is where the similarity ends. The process of creating both types of rugs is different not just in complexity, but also the time it takes to create one and the skill level required in manufacturing it.

As a result of an entirely different process, the products end up having a different look and feel. For these reasons, these different types of rugs can also differ in longevity and cost. Unlike a hand-knotted rug, a hand-tufted rug is created without tying knots. Making a hand-tufted area rug takes a fraction of the time to make, therefore greatly reducing the cost. As a result, hand-tufted rugs are very affordable area rugs. These wool rugs are made with a tool called a "tufting gun."

For a rug to be categorized as hand knotted rugs, it has to meet two requirements. One – it has to be knotted and second- the knotting has to be done by hand. Hand-knotted rugs, hand-made rugs and machine-made rugs meet one or the other of these two requirements but not both.

While hand-made implies the rug is made by hand, it is used as a broader term and includes ALL handmade rugs including needlepoint and hooked rugs. Tufted rugs on the other hand, can be made either by hand or machine and they are not necessarily knotted. In machine made rugs, the knots are made by a machine.

Hand-Knotted Rugs

Weaving a hand-knotted rug requires a great deal of skill and often a lot of time to produce. The quality and very often the cost of a hand-knotted rug is determined by the number of knots per square inch. In this case, a higher density means better quality.

A complex pattern can require very dense knotting, and thus it can take a long time to produce. An average weaver can tie about 10,000 knots per day. So you can imagine how long it can take to complete one rug, especially if it happens to be a large one. The time involved in making it also accounts for hand-knotted rugs costing more on average than hand-tufted rugs.

Hand-Tufted Rugs

The process for creating a hand-tufted rug differs greatly. It is made by punching strands of wool into a canvas that is stretched on a frame with the help of a hand-operated tool. This process is not very time-intensive and does not require the same level of skill that hand-knotting does.

After piling with wool, the rug is removed from the frame, and a scrim fabric is glued to the back. To complete the rug, a fringe is added by either sewing or gluing it on.

Difference in Cost

A hand-tufted rug costs less than a hand-knotted rug because it usually takes less time and skill to make and is thus less costly to produce. This lets the manufacturer pass those savings on to you.

Life Span Differences

A hand-knotted rug outlasts a hand-tufted one. It can become a family heirloom and last for generations if it is used with care. A hand-tufted rug will not last as long in the same level of condition.

The Question of Value

Value is determined not by how little or how much a rug costs. A good-quality hand-knotted rug can become a collector's item, but this doesn't hold true for just any hand-knotted rug. There is a whole range of hand-knotted ones, from poorly made examples to exquisite ones. Hand-knotted rugs also have superior value because they are original, not mass-produced. Hand-tufted rugs never quite achieve heirloom status because they are not one of a kind. But they can still be beautiful to look at and make an appealing and interesting addition to your interior decor.

So, What then is the Difference?

Hand knotted rugs are the classic example of premium hand woven rugs where thousands of knots are tied one over the other by seasoned artisans to create intricate patterns. These rugs take a long time to complete. These rugs are luxuriously upmarket & are worth a fortune. The cost is determined by the kind of fibre used (mainly silk & wool), number of knots per square inch, complexity of the design, shape & size of the rug.

These rugs though come at an exorbitant price but are known to be an investment for generations. If properly taken care of, hand knotted rugs turn into precious & treasured heirlooms that are lovingly passed on from one generation to another.

Hand tufted rugs are made by punching strands of wool into a canvas that is stretched on a frame by using a hand operated tufting gun. Once the pile is created, the rug is removed from the frame & the carpet is secured with a heavy duty lining at the back. These rugs are beautiful to look at and add an appealing and fascinating touch to your interior decor.

Hand tufted rugs that are made with the finest quality of wool look worth a million bucks & are available at a very affordable price. These rugs are best suitable for heavy traffic areas like living rooms & hallways.

It isn’t easy to create hand knotted rugs; its creation requires a lot of precision, focus & dedication. An average hand knotted rug takes a minimum time of 4 months to complete while a rug with a complex design may take years to complete. This is what makes these rugs so pricey. When you purchase a hand knotted rug you don’t just pay for the rug i.e. the end product but you also pay for the artisan’s dedication, proficiency & the extensive labour put in its creation & finishing.

Hand tufted rugs take very less time to complete in comparison to hand knotted rugs; hence the difference in their costing is remarkable.

The process of creation of Hand Tufted rug too is quite different from that of hand knotted rugs. The design for the rug is printed on to a canvas & then with the help of tufting gun, artisans punch the required colour fibre into the canvas strands creating brilliant designs. Hand Tufted carpets generally have a thick pile. The back of the carpet is usually secured with latex & finally covered with another layer of cloth for protection. That’s why soaking of Hand Tufted rugs should be prevented as it might damage & destroy the rug permanently.

Hand Tufted rugs are usually made up of wool but nowadays the use of synthetic fibres like viscose, polyester etc is pretty much in trend. Hand tufted rugs are good for heavy traffic areas of your home/office/hotel.

Hand Knotted rugs can be easily identified by flipping over the rug. The brilliantly woven knots are clearly visible at the backside of any hand knotted rug, hand knotted rugs generally (though not necessarily always) have a fringe which basically is the warp thread.

Hand knotted rugs are usually made up of natural fibres like silk, wool or at times a combination of both. These fibres provide the strength & durability to the rug. The beauty of these rugs is that they do not lose the sheen & lustre with time. They remain equally classy & breathtakingly beautiful even after generations of purchase. They don’t shed & are known to outlive their owner.

Both hand knotted rugs & hand Tufted Rugs are beautiful in their own ways, if you are looking for a posh & lavish looking rug that stays in the family for generations then a Hand Knotted rug is the perfect choice for you, whereas if you like to change the aesthetics of your home frequently (every 4-5 years) & you are looking for a rug that’s trendy & chic, something that’s uber class & affordable too, then a Hand Tufted rug is what you need.

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