What do I need to start tufting? A quick overview.
- Tufting Machine. There are several models of tufting machines to choose from, depending on your skill level and preference, but generally machines fall into one of two categories: low-pile and high-pile. For beginning tufters, we recommend a low-pile machine that performs only cut-pile or only loop-pile. Learn more about machine types here.
- Tufting Cloth. Tufting requires a specific fabric surface to tuft into. Like other fabrics, tufting cloth is available by the yard, and should include enough allowance to adequately secure it in place on the frame. Our Primary Tufting Cloth is the industry standard, designed specifically for use with tufting machines. Learn more about the range of potential tufting fabrics here.
- Yarn. You’ll need a fair amount to tuft, but the exact amount will depend on the size of your project, whether or not you’re using a low or high-pile machine, and how many yarn strands you’re tufting with at a time (we recommend two, for a plusher density). You can tuft using most types of natural fiber yarns, but high quality rug-making yarns, like our Reflect Wool and Eco-cotton, will work best with your tufting machine and be the most durable. Learn more about how to choose tufting yarns here. See how to feed yarn into your machine here.
- Tufting Frame. This is essential to holding the tufting cloth taut while you work. Our Tufting Frame is easy to assemble at home and designed to clamp to the edge of a standard tabletop. You can also make your own tufting frame for about $25. Learn more about frames here, including a video showing how to build your own.
- Adhesive. Once you tuft a rug, you will need to glue the back of the piece as part of the finishing process. Read more about adhesives types, and our recommendations, here.
- Backing Cloth. After the adhesive is dry, you’ll need to finish (or “back”) your rug with another cloth. There are several ways to do this depending on your piece’s function (wall piece, floor rug, garment?). Learn more about backing cloths here.
- Shaping Tools. Shaping is an optional final step. Cut pile tufts can be shaped with clippers or scissors, or trimmed to an even pile with a shearing tool.