Tufting, the technique behind how rugs are made, is intriguing to many. And no, it’s not just an Instagram trend. We speak to four brands who are helping popularise the technique
Small businesses are probably the only bit of joy during the pandemic, so far. After the launch of thrift shops, handmade jewellery, and customised baking stores, the DIY world has now welcomed the art of tufting. Tufting, to explain simply, is how soft toys and rugs are made. Initially, the technique went viral on TikTok, and that’s where the hype started. It’s a laborious process, but the technique that’s gone viral involves a specialised gun that shoots a needle up to 45 times a second into the fabric, enabling you to make plush, tactile patterns, all by pulling a trigger.
At a time when DIY is back in the spotlight, tufting has found its place in the world of social media trends. We talked to five emerging Instagram tufting stores about their work, and what it is like to create something so plush and soft.
Founders: Aparimita and Suraj
How it started: We have always leaned towards creativity, and love playing with new ideas, especially things that involve colours. When we first discovered tufting, we immediately gathered the required supplies to learn it. With time, we kept on getting better, and decided to make this into a business.
How does it work: Firstly, it depends on the size of the rug, secondly, how complex and intricate the design is, and lastly, how swamped we are with orders during the time. Ideally, for an average-sized rug, it would take 7-10 days. We started off making rugs and coasters according to our own designs and creativity. It’s amazing the way you can freestyle it. However, once the orders started pouring in, we haven’t had the time to make much of our own designs. We made a rug for rapper Kr$na, it was one of our largest rugs at that time, and it took around three weeks. A client from New York requested a planet rug and a portal rug, which were seven feet tall, but we finished both of them in roughly a month.
How it started: I was scrolling through TikTok, and ended up on rug-making TikToks, and was just mesmerised. I decided to look more into it and it was pretty easy, but the types of equipment were not easily available. I managed to get my hands on them and after a few months of practising, it felt like it was something I have been doing all my life.
How does it work: Making one rug takes roughly four to five days since I hand punch the rug. There is various equipment you can use to make them, from tufting guns to punch needles. I use the most basic one since it is not something I do professionally, and I feel like I can add more details using a punch needle.
Founder: Gaurav Kumar
How it started: A few months back, I was scrolling on Instagram, and I saw a video in which a guy was tufting a rug, and showing the process. I found it very interesting. Many people don’t know about it, so I decided to start a tufting business and promote tufting as art. Now, we are also guiding many other rug makers. We also wanted to provide these custom rugs at an affordable price so everyone can afford the rug they want.
How does it work: It depends on the size of rug we are making, but usually it takes two days to complete tufting and two days to do the glueing, finishing, and backing part. So, four days to complete a rug.