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2/4/08 Pros and Cons of a Hand Tufted Carpet

Hand Tufted Carpets have come a long way since they have been in production.  It used to be very prohibitive to produce these carpets as the final weight, due in part by the heavy glues used, would add too much to transport and importation costs.  But what are the facts behind these rugs?  Are they better, just as good, or less in quality than an oriental (hand knotted) rug?


1.  Affordabilityhand tufted rugs in general are quite affordable when compared with hand knotted rugs of similar designs. 

2.  Feel and look.  Many hand tufted rugs could easily pass for hand knotted rugs at a quick glance.

3.  Production Response.  Because these carpets are so much easier and quicker to produce, updating both designs and colors according to what's "in" is quite easy.  For every one hand knotted rug made, several hand tufted carpets can be produced, thereby making it quicker to fill a shipment and bringing new designs and colors to the market sooner.

4.  No Strings Attached.  In a sense, tufted rugs are "disposable."  Today's faster paced lifestyle and changing trends makes many consumers more likely to change their decor sooner.  The relatively low cost of tufted rugs makes them "disposable" in the consumer's eye.


1.  ODOR.  Hand tufted carpets are notorious for their rubbery smell.  If you have heated floors, or the rug is new and or deteriorating, this odor will only become worse as time goes by.  Read more here!

2.  Limited Cleaning Options.  Most all hand tufted rugs can not be subject to standard subversive washes.  spot cleaning is also very tricky...  If you drop a bowl of your favorite flavor of ice cream on a hand knotted carpet, you can flush it out by attacking the stain from the reverse side of the rug.  For hand tufted rugs, this is not an option.  All stains must be treated from the face of the rug, which only allows for the stain to settle towards the base of the canvas backing, never fully releasing the stain and often allowing for it to fester.

3.  Poor Quality.  Although there are very high quality hand tufted rugs on the market, a great deal of producers elect "seconds" quality wool to create a the pile of a hand tufted rug.  Same goes for the dyes used.  One must approach the production of hand tufted rugs from an economic standpoint.  If the rug is not intended for long term use, why use a superior wool?  If chances are that a tufted rug will not be washed, why use superior dyes which will not run?

4.  Size Restrictions.  There are two points to make here.  One, when imported to the U.S. from overseas is not a problem, however shipping with standard carriers such as UPS and FedEx can prove very costly.  The only way to transport these rugs are to roll them (unlike hand knotted rugs which can be folded and rolled), which, in most cases, will put these rugs into a different and more expensive class to ship.  Secondly, unusual sizes are almost never produced.  The reason for this has to do with the shelf life of the rugs.  An unusual size carpet or over-sized carpet (larger than 10x14) is practically non-existent because of the shipping cost associated, but also the amount of time it may take a retailer to sell the goods.  Although the rug is pre-made, waiting for a buyer for an unusually wide or long runner may take upwards of 3 or 4 years.  If the rug spends the majority of it's life rolled up, there is little utility once it is sold. 

5.  Deterioration.  These rugs produced without the intention of long term use, which often translates to a white powdery substance which is left under the rug: the glue disintegrates.  You will find that after after half a decade or so the glue holding the wool into place will begin to deteriorate, rendering the rug susceptible to loss of pile.

6.  No resale value.  Hand tufted carpets are meant to have a certain lifetime which makes selling them very difficult.  The resale value of a tufted rug as opposed to a hand knotted rug is seriously disproportionate.  While most hand knotted rugs will not necessarily appreciate in value, a hand knotted rug will certainly depreciate less than that of a hand tufted carpet.

7.  No Legacy!  Your children LOVE the rug, but it won't last long.  There is something to be said about a carpet that can be passed down generation to generation.


Washing a hand Tufted Rug?!?!?

For more information on Hand Tufted vs. Hand Knotted rugs, click here.

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