Electric Rug Tufting

Who knew a hobby such as rug making would become popular among millennials or even Gen Z. In a time when technology is booming and everything seems to be connected to computers and smart devices, what has caused so much attention on a time-old tradition like rug making? The answer is ... TikTok!

TikTok isn’t just about dance videos and accentuating leggings, there’s plenty of other viral videos out there and a few rug making videos have prompted many users to put down their phones and create awesome, artistic rugs.

But there’s just one catch. These aren’t your run of the mill hand hooked rugs that take months of hard work to complete. These detailed, colorful creations are made with an electric rug tufting gun. These guns, originally developed in the 1930s, were only used to manufacture rugs in factories. They hadn’t been used by the general public until recently.

The electric rug tufting guns allow artists and hobbyists to create beautiful masterpieces — that are used as wall hangings or as everyday floor rugs — in days or even hours. Some fiber artists are even able to use these tufting guns to create huge decorative displays and art pieces for their studios.

The hobby of rug hooking took off in the 1950s and has always been a popular hobby among the older crowd. Hand tufting or rug hooking takes a lot of time and patience. Using a hook-like tool to loop individual pieces of yarn through a rug base to create a rug. This gun eliminates all that time and effort but will still leave you with a beautifully crafted and functional rug.

But don’t be fooled. Rug tufting guns can be hard to get the hang of and they can be much more dangerous than a simple rug hook. The gun involves a needle that punches in and out of fabric at a high speed.

Electric rug tufting guns aren’t available in your run of the mill crafting stores, at least not yet. You will most likely have to search online through Amazon, or other specialty stores. Prices range from $200 to $300 or more. If you hit up a website such as tuftinggun.com, you can find almost anything you’ll need to get started.

Once you’ve found a rug tufting gun, some of the other basic items you will need include:

Monks cloth or similar backing material

A rug-tufting frame — some people choose to make their own

Rug yarns

A drop cloth or a plastic sheet

Latex glue

A paintbrush

Duckbill scissors

Some sort of rug binding to finish off the edges

To start you will want to secure your monks cloth to the frame, this frame will keep the material taught so the rug tufting gun can easily punch through the fabric. After the cloth is secure you should draw your design on the back of the rug to help guide you when using the gun. No one will see the back of your rug when you are done, so it’s okay to sketch out a rough idea of what you’d like. It is advised to practice first and get used to the gun and its settings before starting any big projects — rug tufting guns can be hard to get used to.

Using the tufting tool, you can create your design with your rug yarn. Once you are done using the tufting tool and you’ve filled in all the spaces on your rug with yarn, you will want to seal the back of your rug with some latex glue. This can be a messy project so make sure to put a drop cloth down to protect your floor or workspace from a spill. Let that dry overnight before removing the rug from the frame. Once dry, you can cut your rug out of the frame and use your scissors to trim down the front of the rug to make all the yarn look even. The last step is to finish off the rug edges with a binding.