by The Rug Truck June 25, 2019 2 min read

If you are looking into buying a new area rug you may be feeling overwhelmed with all of the options. To help give you a better idea of how rugs are made and how they perform, we have outlined some key features and differences between them.

First, let's start simple. There are three main ways to make a rug. Let's dive into it! 

Table of Contents

1. Hand Knotted

2. Machine Loomed

2. Hand Tufted

Hand Knotted - Artisanal Craftsmanship

The hand-knotted technique is the oldest method used to make a rug. This technique is still used in many countries today including Iran, India, Afghanistan, and Turkey. The process of knotting a rug requires extreme skill and patience. The entire process from the shearing of the sheep to the consumer's floor can take up to a year. The art of weaving is passed down through generations and is heavily rooted in the cultural identity of major rug producing regions around the world. 

Machine Loomed - The Modern Take

In the mid-1800s the first machine-loom was invented in Philadelphia and has continued to evolve into the modern industry we know today. Machine-made rugs are produced through thousands of reels of thread being fed into a mechanical loom, which weaves the rug according to a programmed pattern. As opposed to a hand-knotted or hand-tufted rug which takes months or years to make, mechanical looms have cut average production times down to about one hour!

Hand Tufted - Crafting Made Easy

In the 1930s, the process of tufting rugs was adapted from an American-born method of tufting bedspreads in the early twentieth century. Still considered hand-made, tufted rugs do not have knots, making them much more practical of a rug than hand-knotted. Each yarn is tufted by hand with a tufting gun into the foundation and glued with latex. The rug is then finished with a cloth backing, usually made of cotton. Tufted rugs are generally less than 1" thick, which makes them extremely soft, however, they do tend to shed more than hand-made or machine-made rugs.

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