Hand-Tufted, Hand-Knotted, Hand-Hooked, What's the Difference?

Hand Knotted Chinese Rug

Unless otherwise stated as a Machine-Made rug, all of the rugs on are handmade. There are all different types of handmade rugs, including hand-knotted, hand-tufted and hand-hooked. It can be difficult to decipher the difference between these rugs if you haven't had much experience with them. 

Hand-Tufted Rugs

Hand-Tufted rugs are made with a punch gun rather than the wool being hand tied to the foundation. The loops of wool are punched through a backing that has been printed with the overall design. Once the design is complete another protective foundation is applied with glue and a cloth backing is placed on top of that. Once the backing has been applied, the wool is sheared to create the pile. These rugs do resemble hand-knotted rugs but are not as durable. They can last 10 or more years depending on the traffic they get but they won't last as long as a hand-knotted rug.

Hand-Hooked Rug

A hooked rug is also handmade but the designs rarely resemble hand-knotted rugs. Rather than a pile like hand-knotted or hand-tufted rugs these rugs have small knot bumps from the hooked wool. 

Close up of floral hand hooked rug

These are made using a hook device. Once the piece is complete, an adhesive is put on the back to protect the knots. They are typically not as durable as other rugs and should be used in lower traffic areas.

Hand Hooked Rug

Above is a beautiful, vintage floral hand-hooked rug that has since sold on our site. The backside of hooked rugs usually has a backing to protect the knots but this one did not as seen below.

Backside of Hand Hooked rug 


Weaving a hand-knotted rug takes quite a bit of time and skill. A hand woven rug may either be flat woven or composed of knots. Before weaving begins, an artist draws the design of the rug on graph paper to be used as a guide. Each knot is individually hand-tied by the weaver onto a foundation made of criss-crossing warp and weft threads. The knots make up the thick (or thin) wool pile of the rug. Edges are usually bound with yarn and the fringe ends are finished by tying off the foundation threads.

Weave of hand knotted rug

Above is the backside of the Art-Deco style Chinese rug pictured above. Each bump on the back side is an individual knot. 


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