Rug tufting is the process of creating enormous artworks with relatively few materials. The tufting process is quite simple and does require much skill. Moreover, not many people in Australia understand how to use the simple machine used to do Rug Tufting and find wool cones for crafting.
This post will share a complete guide on using a tufting gun to get the best results for your work. But first things first:
What is a Rug Tufting Machine?
This is a hand-held tufting machine that’s used to make rugs. It is a much faster process than other manual methods like punch needles or latches hooks.
Tufting machines have a lot of advantages over most weaving and rug-making techniques. They are swift and precise, they are also relatively affordable, and the only other supplies you need are yarn and backing material.
How Does Rug Tufting Work?
Tufting machines work more like sewing machines. The machine has a “foot” that rests against your backing material. A needle pushes the yarn through the material and leaves some on the other side.
One important thing to note is that you can run more yarn threads through the rug tufting gun simultaneously. This allows you to make creative combinations and other exciting patterns, and it also helps you save more time by pushing more threads simultaneously.
Also, depending on the rug tufting gun you’re using, you can either leave a strand (cut pile) or a loop (loop pile) on the other side of the backing material.
Cut Pile Vs Loop Pile
One of the hardest questions when deciding which tufting gun to use lies in the type of pile you want for your rug. There is the cut pile and the loop pile. Some tufting machines have settings that allow you to use both pile options, but most will support only the cut pile or loop pile. Ensure, therefore, that you give this some thought before buying your rug tufting gun in Australia.
What is a Cut Pile?
This is the more common style for many rugs. It feels loose and hairy, giving it a smooth and tender touch. Most cut piles are typically made of wool and polyester and are created when the yarn is pushed through the backing cloth and then cut.
This results in an upright pile that leaves the ends of the fibres exposed. The cut pile sits loosely in the backing material and can be pulled out easily. That’s why you must finish the rugs with carpet glue to ensure the pile sticks.
Most cut pile rugs are fragile and cannot handle heavy foot traffic, such as hallways. They are great options for living rooms and places without shoes.
What is a Loop Pile?
Unlike cut pile rugs, loop piles are always connected. These rugs are typically made from wool, olefin, or nylon.
Loop pile strings sit tight on the rug’s surface, making it the preferred rug design for most rugs. Loop pile rugs are also trackless. So, vacuuming, walking, or rubbing them in any direction will show. They are also more durable and great for use in heavy traffic areas, making them an ideal choice for stairs and hallways.
Unlike cut pile rugs, you need to manually cut the yarn with scissors when done with an area.
About the Yarn Type
Yarn is the first and most apparent tufting supply you need. And lots of it.
Fortunately, you can find many yarn options suitable for making rugs. But each yarn yields different results.
Natural wool, synthetic fibres, conductive and metallic yarns will all work, depending on the type of rug you want to create. However, most people prefer natural wool due to its soft and smooth finish.
Other yarn options include:
- Acrylic yarn – cheap and very soft to touch. It wears off really fast and has a fuzzy layer on top
- Cotton yarn – mainly suitable for wall-hanging pieces. Their rugs are too delicate to be used on floors and don’t last for long
- Wool yarn – the perfect option for both wall-hanging and rug pieces. Wool yarn is a bit harder and resistant. It is also environment-friendly
This is another absolute essential when tufting. This is the material you will use the tufting gun on—quality matters here, especially when you’re looking for the rug’s longevity.
The absolute best backing for your rug is primary tufting cloth. This is a tough, lightweight material that’s made for tufting, and it even has gridlines on it to help you keep track of your designs.
You can use other great backing materials, including linen, burlap, and monk’s cloth. These materials are cost-friendly, and however, most of them are prone to tearing and ripping. Still, they are great options for beginners and practice pieces. You can get these backing clothes just about anywhere.
While you will need to buy most of your tufting materials, you can easily DIY the frame. This is an essential component of the tufting process as it allows you to stretch your backing cloth for tufting.
The size of the frame is also an important consideration. For example, a small frame will do if you make smaller rugs. But you will need a huge frame for larger, centrepiece rugs.
Now that you have your complete tufting setup, you can now start tufting
The tufting gun only works in one direction. Therefore, you will need to turn the whole tufting machine around curves. It is easiest to work in lines if you just started tufting. Create lines from bottom to top, so you don’t have to turn the machine.
When using the loop pile tufting machine, you’ll need to cut the yarn after each stroke by hand, and this isn’t necessary for the cut pile tufting gun.
The tufting gun has a “foot” that runs over the backing cloth and applies consistent pressure when tufting. You can also press the gun into the backing cloth to allow the foot to lean on it.
Remember, your yarn might not get stuck in the backing cloth when you apply little pressure to it. You even risk cutting the backing cloth with the scissors of the cut pile.
There you have it – everything you need to know about rug tufting guns and how to use them. Tufting guns are simple machines that are relatively easy to use after getting the hang of them. You can make some fantastic rug designs using this amazing machine. Use the tufting processes in this post, and you should be okay.