Silk rug

The basics of rug identification

When you call us for an estimate, the first thing we'll ask is, what type of rug do you have? Here is some information to help narrow down the type of rug you have.

Hand-knotted rugs

Turkish rug front and back
Persian Kerman rug front and back
Front and back of a hand-knotted rug

A hand-woven or hand-knotted rug refers to a rug that is made completely by hand. These rugs tend to have a life-span that's much longer than any other type of rug because they can be cleaned and repaired more easily.

Although not all hand-knotted rugs are treated equally, these rugs have more character, meaning and culture. Many woven rugs are handed down generations and have great sentimental value. They can be made in big or small villages or by nomadic tribes. These rugs are truly works of art to be treasured and shared.

How to identify a hand-knotted rug

The easiest way to identify if you have a woven rug is by pulling back one corner of the rug and checking the back. If you can see the design on the back of the rug that matches the front of the rug, you most likely have a woven rug.

At this point, the rug may either be hand-woven or machine-woven. Karastan is a popular machine-made rug made in the United States. In fact, Karastan was the first company to ever make a rug on a loom. Any hand-knotted or machine-made rug can be washed using traditional rug washing processes.

100% guaranteed pet odor removal. Yes you read that right. We guaranteed pet odor removal with our specialized rug wash process.

Hand-tufted rugs

Front and back of a tufted wool rug
Replacing the backing on a tufted wool rug
Close up view of a tufted wool rug

A tufted rug, or hand-tufted, is deliberately deceiving. Hand-tufted is not at all the same as hand-knotted or hand-woven. Tufted rugs are made by shooting wool yards through a linen backing using a tufting gun. These rugs can be manufactured quickly and cheaply. That is why you'll often see tufted rugs listed for a fraction of the cost of a hand-knotted rug.

Not only are they of less cost, they often have a much shorter life-span due to cleaning and repairing limitations. In the final step of the manufacturing process, a canvas backing is glued to the back of the rug do help stabilize wool yarns and provide durability. This adhesive will wear down over time, causing dust to build up underneath the rug as well as contributes to a deteriorating foundation

Furthermore, the biggest complaint about a tufted rug is the odor. The adhesives used to glue the backing contain petroleum’s that put off a foul odor. These odors are off-gases from the cheap adhesives. Unfortunately there is almost nothing you can do to reverse this problem short of replacing the backing of the rug. We do offer this service but it often results in repair costs that exceed the value of the rug.

But our dog peed on our tufted rug!

As mentioned before, tufted rugs have cleaning limitations due to the adhesive backing. But if a tufted rug has pet urine accidents, the only way to remove the odor is by washing the rug and fully rinsing the urine out. This becomes problematic because adhesives used in the manufacturing process can become loose from the canvas backing, thus loosening the foundation and de-stabilizing wool yarns.

How to identify a tufted rug

The easiest way to identify a tufted rug is by pulling back one corner of the rug, if there is a canvas or linen-type fabric glued to the back of the rug, then you have a tufted rug. You will not be able to see the design on the back of the rug.

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-Albert Einstein