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The Process of Creating a Tufted Rug

The Process of Creating a Tufted Rug

To understand what a hand-tufted rug is, it is helpful to know the different ways of creating the rugs you walk over every day. Hand-knotted rugs are very tedious to create–they involve the maker individually knotting yarns onto the warp (the threads on a loom over and under which other threads (the weft) are passed to make cloth) until the entire loom is filled with a design. It requires immense attention to detail. Hand-tufted rugs are created when a machine repeatedly punches yarn through a backing fabric to fill the space and create an intricate design. Loomed rugs involve the traditional weaving most people think of when they imaging rugs being created–you simply pass the yarns over and under each other while they are perpendicular. It is much more difficult to create a detailed design with this method.

Behnam Rugs: Tufted rug

Hand-tufted rugs are great because you can create really detailed images without the labor-intensive knotting that drives up the price to an extreme. It still takes a lot of craftsmanship, but by working with machines, we can make quality textiles more accessible. First, the creator will draw their design on a sheet of paper, create a graph, then blow that design up to the size they want the rug to be. A piece of cotton backing will be nailed to a frame to hold the fabric taut as yarns are punched through it. The design is copied onto the cotton backing and yarns are picked for the different shapes. The yarns are loaded into the gun machine and designers use it to fill in the shapes, similar to how they would if they were coloring, but the gun machine is punching in yarns.

Kaliko: Weaving a rug

The yarns are punched through, but not yet held fast. To finish the rug, a latex backing material is brushed on the non-visible side to hold all the yarns in place. Lastly, the edges of the rug are trimmed down and then folded under and glued. Even with the help of a machine, the entire process takes many hours but results in a beautiful and durable end product. Check out interesting ways to display rugs here.

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