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We are happy to help our walk-in clients also, however, we are often out on area rug deliveries and may not be available if no appointment was made.  

​​​​​​​What’s the Easiest Way to Tell a Hand Knotted Rug Apart from a Tufted Rug?

Hi folks!  Ruthie with Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care once again, here to spread some rug knowledge to all my lovely readers and clients.  I know that some folks get pretty easily confused about the different types of rugs, and that’s what I wanted to talk about today!

Some see a tag on the back of their rug that says 'handmade’ and automatically assume they have a fine area rug.  But that’s not always the case! The biggest indicator of a hand knotted rug versus a tufted rug is that tufted rugs have a piece of fabric covering the back of them.

The difference has to do with how the rugs are made.

Hand knotted rugs are made by weavers that hand tie knots around foundation fibers.  Foundation fibers are made from either cotton or wool and are known as weft and warp yarns.  If you take care of these rugs well, they can last for generations! The more knots that a weaver weaves into his design, the denser and higher quality he achieves.  Very fine rugs can have hundreds of knots per square inch, and silk rugs can have as many as 600 knots per square inch!

While tufted rugs aren’t necessarily ‘cheap’, they do lack the structural integrity of a hand woven rug.  Rather than being knotted, the yarns are punched through a web foundation with a tufting tool.  Typically, there is a stenciled design on the mesh (kind of similar to a paint-by-number). Once the rug is finished, latex glue is applied to hold all the tufts together before a piece of monks cloth or canvas is laid on the back.

Unfortunately, latex glue isn’t supposed to last forever and it will dry up within 10 years.  If you happen to lift your rug and find a fine white powder beneath it, this is an indication that the glue is breaking down.  You can either replace the rug (which can be difficult to find a rug that is the same or similar to the original) or you can restore the rug.  Restoration can only be done if the fabric covering the back of your rug is lifting or coming off.

Along with cleaning all kinds of area rugs, Arizona Oriental also offers repair and restoration services for your area rugs, no matter what the needs are!  Hopefully this information comes in handy when you go to buy your next area rug!

Till next time, enjoy your beautiful art for your floor and remember a clean rug is a rug that can last you a lifetime!

Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care serves Prescott, Prescott Valley, Sedona, Flagstaff, and much of the Northern Arizona areas.  We meet the highest standards in professional cleaning of area rugs with rug wash specialists having earned the highest training, including certification as WOOLSAFE FIBRE CARE SPECIALISTS through the WOOLSAFE ORGANISATION.  Such extraordinary certification ensures our client’s area rugs receive the highest quality care.

Call us for more information about the differences between tufted and hand-knotted area rugs and for a free quote for rug cleaning at 928-445-1718, visit our website at, or stop by Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at our rug washing facility at 565 EZ Street, Prescott, AZ 86301 (pick-up and delivery also available). 11-20-2019

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