Updated: Oct 23, 2022
Tufting has had a great increase in popularity due to the Covid Pandemic. People who often went out had to stay home and figure out a way to pass the time. Some took it upon themselves to try new things and feed their creative minds by tufting their own rugs. This in itself is a great hobby, and those who put in the work can even make a living out of it.
The following list is a couple of crucial tips and tricks to make your tufting journey easier.
1. Take a Break and Stretch
Taking breaks and stretching are two of the most underestimated things anyone can do when it comes to performing activities. Breaks are self-explanatory. You do not want to be tufting for a long time because you'll tire yourself out. It is a lot easier for you to take breaks in between where you can let both your mind and body rest. You will notice that you will have greater productivity too. Stretching on the other hand helps by reducing pain and stiffness. If you have been tufting for a while, you might have noticed that your hands and/or your trigger finger become numb at times because of the tufting gun's vibrations. This happens because the vibration restricts the blood flow to your hands. Long exposure to vibrations can lead to nerve damage, carpal tunnel syndrome, and muscle injuries. Stretching helps improve your performance by increasing the body's blood flow and flexibility.
2. Take Care of Your Equipment
Like any other tools, your equipment must be maintained in order for them to work at one hundred percent. I use three types of machines during my whole tufting process. I have the cut pile tufting gun, the sheep sheers, and a smaller cordless trimmer. I clean these machines with a standard cleaning brush, making sure that I remove any yarn and lint. Dirty machines will slow down, not work properly, and over time break if not taken care of properly. That is why I also make sure to oil these machines every other time I use them. If you are someone who tufts for a long time, you might want to oil them daily.
3. Vertical and Horizontal Lines
The strands in the tufting cloth form a type of grid that allows the tufting machine to easily make vertical and horizontal lines. You might want to use diagonal lines when outlining shapes in your design. But when you're filling in the color, horizontal and vertical lines will make the job effortless and quick.
4. Label Colors
Sometimes when you're working with an image that has many colors, you can forget where the colors belong. You are always able to bring out your phone and take a look at the image, but it takes time. By the time you take out your phone and look at your image, you've already wasted a couple of times. That can also lead to you getting distracted and spending more time viewing your social media or playing a "quick" game on your phone. Labeling the colors will make the tufting process a lot quicker. Of course, if you have different shades of the same color you might want to keep a picture on your phone as it would be difficult to keep track of it all.
5. Have Fun!
I think the most important part when doing anything creative is having fun. You can tuft images of characters you like or sports teams you follow. You can also bring in a friend and work on a rug together. Or you can play some tunes to sing and dance. There are plenty of things you can do to make tufting a great experience.
I've enjoyed tufting, and I am positive that anyone willing to try it will too. If you have not yet purchased your equipment, check out my gear page to see the tools I use to create my hand-tufted rugs.