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A set of mind-boggling questions that comes to everyone’s mind while looking for rugs for their home makeover is, “what is the difference between Hand-knotted, Hand-tufted, and Machine-made rugs?” Does the difference matter? Is there any difference in quality, durability, and price? There should be no confusion before making any purchase and if these questions are left unanswered, the confusion would definitely arise. Even if you have made your choice and bought one type amongst the three for your home design, these questions would still pop-up in your mind from time to time. 

It doesn’t matter whether you buy rugs online or go to a neighboring home accessories store to make a purchase of rugs, you have the right to learn the answers to these complex questions. We have decided to end this confusion and headache once for all. In this article, we will elaborate on the difference between these three types of rugs on the basis of different factors like materials, appearance, texture, cost, and durability. So you could have an exact idea, what you are going to buy for your home and what you actually need.

But before moving towards the main differences between the three types let us clarify that hand knotted and hand tufted rugs are not the same. The first one is totally handmade by using only strands of fabrics and could take the time up to a year for one unit to be totally ready for use. The other one is made using tufting gun to trace the design on the surface, it can be ready for use in a minimum time of one day.  

These two can be distinguished by looking for two things the fringe and the design. In case of hand knotted rugs, the fabric is knotted within the fringe to give rugs a much rich handmade appearance. The design made on the back of the hand-knotted rugs will mirror the actual design on the front. In the case of hand-tufted rugs, the fringe is usually stitched or glued to the back of the rug. The back of these rugs is just blank without any design. 

The main distinguishing factors between these three types of rugs are listed below: 


One of the major difference between these three types of rugs is the material used in the manufacture. Hand-knotted rugs are usually made of natural material like cotton, silk, wool. Jute, and bamboo. Most used material for hand-knotted rugs is wool, some artisans use a combination of various natural material for manufacture.

For hand-tufted rugs wool is used mostly, but other fabrics are also used. Synthetic material is used for machine-made rugs mostly, like polyester, nylon, and, polypropylene. The natural material is also used but in very rare cases.


Another major difference is the appearance of these rug types. Even though all the types can perfectly fit into a home design. But you can easily differentiate between all three types by judging their appearances. 

Hand-knotted rugs have a totally organic look. You can spot tiny imperfections which are affiliated with handmade products. For hand-tufted rugs, they might look similar to hand-knotted, you have to check the back to distinguish it, and the back of hand-tufted rugs is blank. 

You won’t find even the slightest imperfection in any machine-made rug because they are manufactured using properly programmed machines.


The texture is also a distinguishing point between these types of rugs. The texture depends more upon the material used in manufacturing instead of manufacturing technique but still, you can differentiate between these rugs by rubbing hands on the surface of rugs. There are some minimal variations you can spot to specify the technique.

Hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs are generally rough and thicker. They would offer a considerable amount of resistance against compression when you press front and back sides. Machine-made rugs are usually smoother specifically those which are made with synthetic material.


This is the most vital distinguishing factor amongst all. It doesn’t really matter what material is used to manufacture a rug, there would be a clear distinction of how well these rugs go with the passage of time. Though, it also depends upon the usage and handling. 

The hand-knotted rugs are the most durable ones if manufactured by the hand of a skilled artisan, they possess the potential to go on for centuries. Hand-tufted rugs might not go well with the passage of time, they are the least durable ones. Machine-made rugs can’t be compared with hand-knotted rugs in terms of durability, but they will go for a fair amount of time if handled and used carefully. 


Higher the cost, higher the quality stands true. Cost is an obvious factor. Hand-knotted rugs are the most expensive because they are also considered as a piece of art. Hand-tufted rugs have mid-range price tags while the machine made rugs are least expensive of the lot.

Final Words:

We have discussed some of the differentiating factors between the three types of rugs above. You can surely evaluate on which could be the best fit for your home. These discussed factors would definitely help you in differentiating and bringing the right option for your home. 

Live with comfort! 

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