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The Different Types of Handmade Rugs

Lifestyle image of an area rug, Deja 4683-915 in a living room environment.
Deja 4683-915

In our previous blogs, we’ve discussed the different fibers that rugs are made of, both natural fibers and synthetic fibers. When utilizing these fibers, rugs can be put together in two main ways, by hand and by machine. These two different styles can completely change both how a rug feels, and how durable it is. In today’s blog we will be discussing handmade rugs, and the various techniques that can be used to make them. We will be breaking down three ways a rug can be handmade: hand knotted, hand tufted, and flatweave.

What are Hand Knotted Rugs?

Hand knotted rugs are exactly what they sound like. They are put together slowly and carefully, each knot handtied during the creation process. These hand knotted rugs are typically created on their own specially designed loom. Vertical threads are tied onto the loom, while horizontal threads intersect to create a base for the rug. The vertical threads are then cut are handtied again to make sure everything is snug and secure. Hand knotted rugs are typically made of wool or silk. Due to how carefully they are put together, hand knotted rugs are normally very durable and can withstand high-traffic areas. That being said, because of the time it takes for them to be made, hand knotted rugs tend to run more expensive than other rugs.

What are Hand Tufted Rugs?

Hand tufted rugs are a bit different than hand knotted rugs. Hand tufted rugs are made by hand, but they also utilize machinery in their creation process. However, like hand knotted rugs, hand tufted rugs are made of a wool material. Hand tufted rugs are made by punching wool onto a stretched canvas. The canvas is held in place by using a frame. The punching process is done by using a hand operated tool. After the wool is piled on, the rug is removed from the frame. After that, a backing is placed behind to hold all the tufts in place. Once the fabric has been glued to the back, fringe will be added on to the end using either glue or via sewing. Due to the machine being used in the hand tufted rug making process, hand tufted rugs are made much more quickly than hand knotted rugs.

What are Flatweave Rugs?

Flatweave rugs differ in that they are not made with knots. Flatweave rugs are created by a weaving process. This process is done by taking horizontal and vertical fibers and weaving the two together. Flatweave rugs feature a no pile construction making them lightweight and easy to move around. They also are created using a wide variety of natural fiber materials. While wool can be used, much like the other two techniques we mentioned today; flatweave rugs can be made using fibers like cotton and jute instead. Flatweave rugs are quite affordable as well, making them quite different than hand knotted rugs.


Just like how rug fibers can be broken down into two main categories, natural and synthetic, rug making techniques can as well, hand-made and machine-made. Of course, within the hand-made category there are a variety of different techniques within, hand-knotted, hand-tufted, and flatweave to name a few. As we have learned today, while these three techniques have an overarching similarity, they also have distinct differences that set them apart from one another. Depending on your tastes, and your budget, a rug made one way might suit you more than another. We hope this article can help you with your research during your rug buying journey, and that you find a rug that is perfect for you.

Be sure to check out our extensive selection of handmade rugs! You can also follow us on our various social media outlets for more updates and inspiration!


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