Hand-tufting is a weaving technique in which the pile is incorporated to a cotton base with the insertion of yarn using an air compression tufted gun. The pattern design is drawn out on cotton fabric which is then stretched over a frame. The tufting gun is used to punch the yarn through the fabric and is fastened to a latex base. The yarn is then cut with special scissors and shaved to ensure equal height or different pile heights. Hand-tufting offers endless possibilities in design and all kinds of textures and yarn types are possible, such as high pile and low pile, cut, loop, tip-shear and carving. The pattern can be non-repetitive, as the hand-tuft technique does not restrict the design, all shapes and sizes are possible but fine details are limited by the amount of threads in the tufting gun. The transportation size and weight can be restrictive especially when there is limited property access.
This production process requires skilled craftsmen who interpret the design and have solid technical know-how and knowledge of colors to achieve the perfect hue. Hand-carving is an add-on that can give even more definition to specific designs. Hand-tufting is an extremely time-effective alternative to the hand-knotted carpet.
The hand knotting method typically requires expert craftsman using elaborate ancient weaving techniques. The production process is extremely artisanal, starting from colour dyeing, interpretation of the design, yarn knotting, and shaving of the rug pile. This requires the weaver to tie knots by hand around the warp yarns that make up the length of the rug. These knots form the surface pile and pattern of the rug. The higher the number of knots per square inch the higher the quality, definition, and the durability of the rug. Each rug then goes through a series of finishing processes including shearing, combing, washing, stretching, and binding of the edges by hand. Due to the intricate nature of this weaving technique the process is time consuming and labour intensive which makes this type of manufacturing expensive. Design and colour is limitless with a variety of yarn types and textures possible.