May 22, 2017
The production of hand-tufted carpets is fundamentally different to all other methods of manufacture. The carpet is neither woven nor knotted. Tufting works rather like a sewing machine: the needle goes through the fabric from the back of the carpet. The gripper holds the yarn tightly from the front. This results in loops on the woven backing that create a bouclé texture. If the loops are cut, the result is a velour finish. The cutter is usually attached to the gripper so that holding and cutting the yarn, known as the pile, can be done in one step. The length of the pile or loops determines the pile height and, together with the pile density, results in the material weight. In the next step, the pile threads are fixed. Before this, they are loose in the backing material and could be pulled out easily. To do this, the back of the carpet is completely coated with latex and then clad with felt. A common design feature of tufted goods is shearing. To do this, the pile is cut to different heights using a cutter or knife. Patterns also result from the contrast between loops and clipped pile.