Don’t be fooled. Hand-tufted area rugs can look very much like hand-knotted area rugs. They are both made by hand but are created quite differently. Hand-tufted area rugs do not require the same level of skill that a hand-knotted area rug requires when it comes to construction. Hand-tufted area rugs are crafted on a loom (loom size depends on the size of the rug) where a cloth foundation is placed and then stretched. A hand tufting tool is then used to push loops of wool through the back of the cloth that has been imprinted with the overall rug design.
Hand-tufting area rug tool
After the process with the tufting tool is completed another foundation, called a Scrim is applied with latex glue. A final protective cloth backing is applied when the latex has dried and the Scrim is secure. Hand-tufted area rugs then get finished with a final shearing step. The rug is sheared so that all of the loops on top of the rug are even and a thick pile is created.
With a hand-tufted area rug, you will not be able to see the design on the back of the rug, only the front will show the pattern. Unlike hand-knotted area rugs, there aren’t any knots to tie which in turn takes less time to make. You will find that hand-tufted area rugs generally cost less than hand-knotted rugs because they do not require as much time to make. Hand-tufted rugs will hold up in high traffic areas within the home and will last anywhere from 10-25 years, however, there is one thing you should be aware of when it comes to hand-tufted area rugs. Over time, the rug’s backing may become somewhat stiff and you might notice that the latex has started to deteriorate or that it may begin to emit a slight odor similar to that of burnt rubber. This is a known characteristic of the latex and should not be considered a defect. It should also be noted that any type of spill or accident that exposes your hand-tufted area rug to moisture may actually accelerate this process. If an accident involving moisture does occur, care should be taken immediately to dry the rug. Many people do not find the repair of a hand tufted rug to be cost effective because they are relatively inexpensive when compared to hand knotted rugs.