area rug construction tufted flat weave wool handmade hand-knotted area rugs

Area Rug Constructions: What are the Differences?

Construction on area rugs refers to how an area rug is created, which makes all the difference in the world. Whether it is a hand-knotted area rug, animal print rug, hand-tufted or a hand-hooked area rug, the construction really does matter. It will often times determine the:

  • Look
  • Texture
  • Quality
  • Longevity of your area rug

Here are a few common rug constructions to note when selecting an area rug for your space:

Tufted Area Rugs

Tufted Area Rugs are sewed without any knots. Instead, loops of yarn are pulled through the area rug’s backing material using a machine or a hand-held tool meant to create rugs. The loops are then sheared to create a smooth cut-pile surface. Since less work is involved than in the construction of a hand-knotted rug, even the highest-quality tufted area rugs can be produced in a timely manner, as well as inexpensively.

Unfortunately, tufted area rugs shed more than other rugs and may require more-frequent vacuuming as a result.

Tufted Area Rugs are Typically Best for: Family rooms, bedrooms, or living rooms.

Hooked Area Rugs

When creating a rug, hooking is similar to tufting, but the yarn loops stay together. Additionally, loops of yarn are pulled through the area rug’s backing material using a machine or a hand-held hooking needle. Instead of being sheared like traditional tufted area rugs, the loops are left alone, creating a lumpy embroidered look.

Hooked Area Rugs are Usually Best for: Family rooms, bedrooms, or living rooms.

Flat-Weave Area Rugs

Flat-weave area rugs do not have a pile, because they are woven on a loom. Flat-woven area rugs are made by hand or machine by weaving vertical yarns through the horizontal yarns. As a result, because they are not woven onto a backing, the area rugs are reversible.

Flat-Weave Rugs are best for: High-traffic rooms and spill-prone areas such as kitchens, playrooms, or entryways.

Hand-knotted Area Rugs

This is the most labor-intensive area rug-making technique. Hand Knotted Rug Weavers tie individual knots to the warp yarns that make up the length of the rug. These knots form the surface, or pile, of the area rug. Because they are crafted by artisans, no two hand-knotted rugs are exactly alike.

Hand-knotted Area Rugs are Best for: Formal gathering spaces like the living room or great room are usually great for hand knotted area rugs.

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