Hand-tufted rugs can be a fitting alternative to their hand-knotted counterparts. Where as hand-knotted rugs are almost entirely made by hand a hand-tufted rug often has only a few steps done by hand. This makes for a much quicker production but still allows for a hand finished product.
A large canvas is stretched on a loom and the desired pattern is traced by hand directly on the canvas. With the use of a tufting gun, either manual or automatic, the pile is tufted into the canvas by pushing the material through the canvas with a needle creating a loop. That loop is then cut to create the pile. The material used, the density of the tufts and the detail of the pattern are all factors in quality and price.
Hand-tufted rugs typically enjoy a lifespan between 5-15 yrs, many of the less expensive tufted rugs begin to deteriorate after a year or two; be aware when buying rugs that are very inexpensive as these are able to hit low price points by using materials or methods that aren’t going to produce longevity. Over time the glue will oxidize and turn into a powder, this is not considered a defect as this will happen regardless. This process is accelerated if the rug is over saturated or the backing is bent or folded rather than rolled. The climate of the rugs final destination will also play a roll, for example in Minnesota where the winters become so dry the glues used to secure the backing dry out faster. The images below show the difference between a new tufted rug and one that is at the end of it’s life. The corners coming unattached and the backing beginning to separate are tell tale signs.