Not all rugs are created equal(ly)! Construction has a lot to do with the price of a rug because it will tell you how long it took to make and possibly how long it will last. The terms “hand-knotted” and “hand-tufted” are thrown around a lot, so it’s helpful to know what they mean. No matter how a rug is constructed, there are still BEAUTIFUL versions of it. See below!

Hand Knotted

Hand knotting is the most labour-intensive of rug constructions. In the hands of master weavers, this technique can produce works of art unparalleled in detail and beauty. In a knotted rug, tiny threads are tied onto the warp, creating the pattern or design. The weft threads anchor and aligh the rows of knots. When the knots are later cut, they stand away from the warp/ weft backing to create the velvety pile of the finished piece. The density of the pile is determined by how tightly the knots are packed together. There are a variety of actual knots styles, among which are Persian, Turkish and Tibetan knots.
In Tibet, native weavers developed a distinctive method long ago of weaving woven on a vertical loom. A Tibetan knot is made when a metal rod is inserted into the cotton foundation (warp and weft threads) during the knotting process. The two threads are at different positions around the weaving rod, and the threads are knotted form left to right.
When the row of knotting is completed, the knots are cut off the metal rode. This creates a surface texture in the pile with the signature horizontal striation that identify "Tibetan weave" to connoisseurs the world over. The most common Tibetan knotted rugs are in 60, 80 or 100 knots per square inch. The higher the knot count, the thinner the carpet. This type of weaving is indicative of tribal and modern designs.

Hand Tufted

Hand-tufted rugs and hand-hooked rugs are produced with a tufting gun. Working much like an oversized sewing needly, the gun pushes and pulls threads and yarn through a scrim - a pre-woven grid foundation. With a hooked rug, the loops of yarn are left intact to form a characteristically "knobby" pile. In a tufted rug, the taps of loops are sheared to expose the thread ends for a softer and plusher pile.

Hand Woven

A flat-weave rug is constructed without a pile. Here, colored weft yarns are woven through the warps to create the pattern. There are numerous varieties of flat weaves: kilims, dhurries and soumaks to name a few.

A split-weave kilim is constructed when colored weft yarns are woven though the warps to create the pattern and the thread is pulled through the warp only as far as the pattern and color dictate. Then the thread is turned back on itself to go the direction in which it came finishing the same side on which it started. Different colored threads meet but do not join, creating the design. 

Looom Woven

Loom woven rugs are woven on looms and they are then hand washed and hand finished, utilizing time-honored techniques, to accentuate the beauty of each individual rug. Loom-woven rugs have the texture, look and feel of a high-quality handmade piece without the high cost normally associated with handmade rugs.


Power Loom

Powerlooms enable rug makers to produce floor coverings at a much faster rate than anything woven by hand. Though these early machine made rugs were by no means as detailed as those done by an artisan's hands, they brought affordability and accessibility to a much larger market. Since the initial development of the powerloom, manufacturers have strived to re-create the look of a fine handmade carpet with varying degrees of success. When purchasing a powerloomed rug, remember, its not just about price!

Most important is that your rug is constructed of quality materials, like wool, natural fibers, or lasting synthetics dense enough to ensure- not only that the product lasts- but that it wears beautifully. Hand finishing or carving, featured in many Tapis rugs powerloomed rugs, are sure signs of quality. A finely powerloomed rug is superior in detail and durability to one that is poorly made. Tapis' powerloomed rugs are woven on state-of-the-art Wilton looms, known for their ability to produce incredibly intricate designs and superiorly blended colours. These electronically-driven looms are also produce two rugs simultaneously, which are then cut apart, known as face-to-face weaving.