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What is Rug Tufting?

rug tufting, tufted rug, monks cloth, tufting gun

What is Rug Tufting?

A new trend taking over social media and crafting communities has got people asking, “What is rug tufting?” This post will serve as an introduction to help you understand, and probably get super excited about, this craft.

What is Rug Tufting?

Rug tufting is the technique of hand-making rugs by threading loops of yarn in a design onto supportive fabric, usually with the aid of a special “tufting gun.”

It comes from the word, “tuft,” meaning to apply a collection of fibers to a base.

The basics of rug tufting have been practiced around the globe for much of history. Most of that time, rug making was done by hand with a hook or, eventually, a rug-manufacturing machine. This new rug tufting trend took off with the use of the tufting gun invented in the early 2000s, because the gun is fast, easy, and offers convenient pile features. Some people choose to tuft with a punch needle because they enjoy the hands-on sensation, though it is more time-consuming.

A fabric such as linen, burlap, or monk's cloth serves as the rug base. The fabric back of the rug is placed on a frame, the design is applied to the fabric free-hand or with a projector to perfect the image (though one could work without a design for more abstract rugs, if they wished), and then the yarn is looped onto the fabric with a punch needle or tufting gun to flesh out the design. Glue, a secondary backing fabric to make up the back of the rug, and edging are then applied to finish it off.

Rug Tufting VS Hand-Knotting

Tufting is different from knotting because knotting involves, as the name implies, knots, while tufting is made of simple loops. While loops are not quite as tough as knots and these rugs probably won’t become an heirloom, tufted rugs can last 20 years or more depending on the quality of the materials and the workmanship. Finer materials, denser tufting, and planning for the traffic-level of the intended area will make the rug last longer.

Tufting offers an easier and less time-consuming method of producing a custom rug and makes these unique creations available to a wider market because they aren’t as expensive to make(and sell).

Rug Tufting Creations

The seemingly limitless designs people can create with rug tufting are fascinating. 

Designs range from traditional patterns that are indistinguishable from the finest rug patterns commercially available, to abstract and wild artworks for a one-of-a-kind statement, to fun characters and images of celebrities that add personal charm to a space.

Some people even make wall hangings and other decor with rug tufting techniques and materials.

The Fun New Thing

Crafters rave about rug tufting as a personal hobby and as a new business opportunity because it’s easy, quick, forgiving, so versatile, and fun to gift or sell. Everyone loves the originality, personalization, and mix of flair with functionality offered by custom hand-tufted rugs