Syracuse Area Rug Cleaning Specialist Issues Warning About Tufted Rugs



Tufted rugs that are manufactured with a hand-held tufting gun can produce a very nice-looking rug which can very closely imitate a hand-made oriental rug. 

But ‘Buyer Beware.’  These are NOT hand-made rugs.  They may be attractively priced and are sometimes actually sold as handmade rugs, but the long term cost can actually be higher. 

How Do You Tell the Difference Between Tufted Rugs and Handmade, Hand-Knotted Rugs?

The difference is in the ways they are constructed. 


In a hand-tufted rug (so-called because the hand touches the gun), a gun shoots the lines of yarn through fabric in loops.  The loops are then cut to form the pile. 

There is nothing to hold the pile in place.  Therefore, to keep the rug from falling apart, latex (glue) is lathered onto the back and then a backing, sometimes consisting of a netting material followed by a jute or a canvas-like material, is applied on top of the glue. 

The backing is there to hide the glue that is holding the rug together.  

Tufted Rugs:

1.      Are not durable and do not wear well.

2.      Cannot always be satisfactorily cleaned, especially when animal or human fluids or oils have entered them, because the rug cannot be cleaned through to the backing.  (The glue is an integral part of the rug and not something that can be washed out.)

3.      Can only be surface cleaned if relatively new.

4.      May have latex that was not allowed proper time to cure, causing permanent odors to seep into the rug, often from diesel fuel from the shipping fleet.  There is no known way to remove that odor.

5.      Have latex that will begin to deteriorate over time, depending on how well the rug is constructed.  This can cause the backing to have ripples and buckling and become ‘lumpy.’  Fine grains of dust will be left on the floor beneath, causing abrasion to the floor and continued damage to the rug.

6.      Will need to be disposed of much sooner than other rugs.  They will eventually become landfill cloggers and a threat to the environment.  They are NOT ‘green’ products but they are often sold as environmentally ‘green.'

7.      Have tufts that can be pulled out by hand or by a vacuum.        

Hand-Knotted Rugs

In a hand-knotted rug, each tuft of wool is "tied" onto the foundation of the rug and is packed down and held down by the arrangement of the wefts that go from left to right over the warps (fringed ends).  The knots are very tightly woven and the tufts of the pile cannot be pulled out of the rug.

Hand-Knotted Rugs:

1.      Are made to be durable, hold up to wear and dirt, and can last many decades.

2.      Can have animal or human fluids, as well as most spots and stains, removed during the cleaning or in the case of urine, the decontamination process. 

3.      Will only improve its appearance with a thorough cleaning. 

4.      Will look very much on the back as they do on the front and will never have a backing applied with glue. 

5.       Have tufts that cannot be easily removed by hand or by vacuum. 


Call ABC for Help

In some of these tufted rugs, the latex, netting, and backing can be carefully removed and new glue and a new backing can be applied to make it possible to use the rug for a longer period of time. (Please see ‘Beware of Tufted Rugs ‘ on this site under Videos on the Nav Bar.)

If you have any questions about a rug you are considering for purchase, please contact us at 607-272-1566 or contact us here.  You may also fill out the form below and we will call you.  We will be happy to answer your questions or concerns.


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