When I search online for Handmade rugs or Oriental rugs, I often end up on websites with a “really nice looking” rug at a “really cheap” price! That’s where I get suspicious and discover that what some websites call handmade rugs are NOT at all handmade but “hand-tufted rugs” made using a “tufting gun”.
You can see some hand-tufted rugs here.
A gun to make a rug? What’s the story behind these so-called hand-tufted rugs ?
A “hand-tufted rug” is created without tying knots at all, but rather using a “tufting gun” and pushing wool or acrylic yarn through a primary backing, creating a “tuft”. Then, a latex glue is applied to hold the “tufts” in place (this is not really what I can call an environment-friendly rug). Finally the top of the tufts is trimmed to create the pile.
Here is a video I found on youtube where you can see someone trying out a “tufting gun”.
I don’t have any problem with people buying machine made rugs, IF they are aware of what they buy. If you buy a hand-tufted rug and expect it to be handmade, you got it really wrong!
So what is a real handmade rug?
Well, as you may know, real handmade rugs are made by people with their hand and fingers tying knots (or embroideries) one after the other. Here is a good video example of what it means to knot a rug.
Things to remember about hand-tufted rugs
- Hand-tufted rugs are NOT handmade at all but “gun” made – also considered as machine made.
- Will I bet that in 5 years your hand-tufted rug will still be in good condition? No. On the other hand a real hand-made rug will last for years – even hundred years.
- Can you wash your hand-tufted rug and be sure of not having any parts dismantling? I wouldn’t guarantee that – remember it is simply glued.
- Hand-tufted rugs are really cheap because you can mass produce them very fast using the tufting gun.
- If you see a website with the exact same rug available at different sizes, you can almost be sure that it is not handmade.