I love it when my worlds collide, with a background in product design and having my own decorating business I am fascinated to learn how the products we buy and love are made. Last week I attended a seminar presented by Delos Rugs at J&S Designer Flooring and was so excited to learn more about their rug construction. With different construction methods, materials, and styles the options are seemingly endless, so in this post I will focus on how tufted rugs are made. I think it's hard to visual the process so I've included lots of video to demonstrate how it works! Have fun looking around!
There are many steps involved before you can actually begin creating the rug, such as design, color selection, pattern transfer, and many more. Once you get to the tufting stage you create the rug by pushing the yarn through a fabric backing with a tufting gun, like this image shown below. Here are the key steps in the tufting process from CRI (Carpet & Rug Institute)
- Yarn comes from cones on creel racks (or from big spools called beams) into the machine.
- The primary backing feeds into the machine.
- Yarn and primary backing come together in the machine (full shot of machine)
- Yarn is fed through needles on a needlebar of a tufting machine. Needles repeatedly penetrate or tuft into the primary backing.
- The tufted carpet is mended and inspected.
- Carpet is rolled onto large rolls for the next step (whether it’s to be dyed or to be backed.)
Types of Tufting
There are also several ways a tufted rug can be made:
- Hand tufting with handheld gun
- Hand tufting with automatic gun
- Machine tufting
There are many steps involved in finishing a rug, and most depend on the style and design. In order to keep the yarn in place, all tufted rugs have a layer of latex that is painted or sprayed on the back which serves as glue. Then a piece of fabric is laid on top which covers the latex and the generally messy looking back from the tufting process. That's actually one way you can tell if a rug has been tufted is if it's covered on the back.
It sheds from shearing...
The face pile of a tufted rug needs to go through some finishing steps, which include shearing to create a flush uniform surface. Depending on the design the yarn fibers are color sorted by hand to keep the pattern clean and defined. Sometimes the edges are even carved for a more dimensional look. The first video is a bit dated but it shows all the steps concisely: latex, shear, carving.
This second video shows an alternative carving tool.
Well actually that's only a small fraction of one type of rug construction but I hope you enjoyed these videos as much as I have! It's great to learn and gain a better understanding of what goes into a tufted rug so you can see the value of what you are buying and be an informed consumer!
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