Tufting may be an ancient art, used for generations to create warm clothes, blankets and floor coverings from thread, but in 2021 this practice has received a colourful update and is being taken up by small brands all over the country.
To explain the process: tufting uses a special gun to push thick thread through a heavily backed piece of material, forcing loops of the thread onto one side where they gather in thick tufts. Watching tufting is actually quite mesmerising; we like Insider’s video as an example of how it works.
Different coloured threads can be used and patterns can be created, which is how talented tufting artists create rugs with interesting designs – the likes of which are becoming increasingly popular.
Francesca Davies is the founder of Pixie Divine, a small, Instagram-based business specialising in on-trend homewares such as candles, hand-punched and tufted pieces.
Speaking to Stylist.co.uk, Francesca explains that her process is completely handmade as she punches each thread herself instead of using a tufting gun. In fact, pieces can take eight hours to make, which is an incredible achievement.
“The great thing about tufting rugs and mirrors is that you can really inject your own individuality and personality into each piece. Even if someone were to do a similar style, it would never be quite the same and that’s the beauty of it,” Francesca says of the trend.
Speaking of her influences, Francesca cites the 70s as a source of inspiration: “I tend to draw my inspiration from current fashion trends that I am enjoying at the time.
“At present it is heavily influenced by the 70s; the rippled lines, the earthy tones and the funky fonts! Currently I am working on a collection of mirrors that focus on the beauty of the person looking directly in the mirror.”
“I love that this trend allows each maker to be unique, add a fluffy flair to people’s homes and that it’s limitless in terms of creativity. I am very expressive with some of the words I like to use in my tufted work but I equally like to tuft pictures of aliens and hearts… for balance!”
Francesca says that she’s seen a brilliant response to her pieces so far and is excited to release her next collection on 25 April at the online South London Makers Market.
If you’re as wild for the trend as we are, here are the indie makers making waves in the world of tufting right now, with designs that both nod to the trend and fully embrace it.
Ellen Tufts Studio
Images: Al’s Place / Pixie Divine