What is Rug Tufting?
Before you can determine if rug tufting is your next favorite craft, you need to know what rug tufting is. Very simply, it is hand-crafting rugs by applying loops of yarn in a design onto a supportive fabric with a “tufting gun”.
Craft enthusiasts who’ve tried rug tufting often say it is one of the most enjoyable crafts they’ve done. It’s easy to learn, forgiving of mistakes, not very time consuming per project, and extremely versatile.
People create large, traditional rugs with unique patterns, modern, abstract artworks in the form of rugs, and fun, shaped rugs featuring favorite characters and even sports figures.
Hobby and Business Opportunities
Like many crafts, you can go into rug tufting as a personal hobby just for fun or as a business. For the hobbyist, hand-tufted rugs are great for personalizing your home and gifting to virtually anyone. If you’re looking for a business idea, rug tufting is an excellent craft to try as a business opportunity because it’s budding popularity makes it easier to set your brand apart and the rugs fly off figurative shelves because people get excited about the idea of handmade, unique, custom rugs.
You do need to buy some tools and accessories for rug tufting. The tufting gun itself is the most expensive item, costing $200 to $500, depending on which one you buy and where you buy it.
You can do rug tufting with a punch needle that costs anywhere from $6 - $50, but it takes much longer to complete a rug than when using a tufting gun.
The frame to hold the fabric while you work doesn’t cost very much. You can also make your own for even less cost.
Fabrics vary in price depending on the material. Burlap and linen are fairly inexpensive. Monk’s cloth is a little more expensive, say an average of around $40 per yard, but it is the best material to work with if you want to make a high quality rug.
Yarns vary in price, so you can determine whether you want to go with the least expensive acrylic yarn, the finest wool yarn, or one in between.
The Rug Tufting Itself
It’ll be stated very simply here and you can view our detailed post, Rug Tufting 101 for more information.
First, you stretch the fabric on the frame, keeping it tight to ensure the design turns out correctly.
Then, you draw the design freehand on the fabric or use a projector to trace the design.
You’ll thread the yarn into the tufting gun and then press the “foot” of the tufting gun firmly to the back of the fabric, working on the design backwards, and sort of draw with the gun.
You can remove threads that don’t turn out as you intended or do a little adjusting to get the design perfect.
When the design is finished, you’ll glue the fabric with a special glue and apply a backing fabric and edge to the rug.
A small rug requires only a few hours of time investment, and, voila!, you have an amazing, unique rug to keep, gift, or sell.