The world of rugs is not as simple as it may seem to the naked eye. There are various kinds to choose from, depending upon budget, style, colour, composition and material. So, as someone who may not understand this intriguing space, here’s an attempt to help you demystify it.
Broadly, rugs are of two kinds; machine made and handmade. Here we will mostly deal with the category of rugs that are handmade, which can be further categorised in to Hand Knotted & Hand Tufted.
What is a hand knotted rug:
The hand knotting technique is century old weaving technique, which has been passed down from generation to generation. Hand knotted rugs are created by experienced artisans who have acquired the skills from their predecessors. The knots created by these artisans make the rug’s canvas extremely strong and durable. A hand rug is crafted by making knots one by one per square inch. An average hand knotted Obeetee rug can have up to 2 million knots and it takes anywhere close to eight to nine months to craft a hand-knotted rug depending upon its style and the intricacy of its designs and patterns. In addition, a hand knotted rug goes through multiple steps before taking its final shape. The best way to see if a rug is knotted is to look at the back of the rug. Every knot should be visible on the rug and one should be able to count the knots easily.
What is a hand tufted rug:
Compared to hand-knotted rugs, hand-tufted rugs undergo a simpler production process. A hand-tufted carpet begins with a stretched canvas on a frame; a tufting tool is then used to punch yarn strands into the canvas using the design map as a guide (Naksha). The process needs less skill, less time, and less labour than hand-knotted carpets. Examining the scrim backing on the back is the simplest way to identify a hand-tufted rug. As a finishing touch, fringe is typically glued or sewed onto the carpet.
The texture of the rug is mostly controlled by the material used, rather than the weaving method. If properly maintained, hand-knotted rugs can last for decades. Hand-tufted area rugs, on the other hand, are not designed to endure a lifetime. Normal use does not destroy the rug, but its lifespan is only three years. This is owing to the fact that hand-tufted rugs are typically designed to reflect current fashions. Hand-knotted carpets are unquestionably more expensive due to the time and work required to create them.