Have you ever wondered about how those beautiful designer rugs are created and produced? Here is a close up look into the two uniquely different techniques of custom rug building.

For centuries the only high quality rugs available were produced from wool and silk yarns. This was, and in some countries still is, all woven and tufted by hand. In industrialized nations these production methods have evolved. Now manufacturers are using advanced tufting guns that rapidly inject the yarn into the backing. This backing acts as a foundation that holds the yarns in place.

Let’s take a closer look at the more advanced methods of these two rug making techniques:

Technique#1- Tufted Wool Rug Production.

After a design is chosen, the design template is carefully transferred onto the backing. The Backing is mounted within a frame that is vertically positioned. The yarn colors are then tufted with handheld tufting guns. Imagine large spools of different color threads feeding into the guns. All of the various colors are patiently integrated to create the final product.

Finally there is a shearing process that shears the face loops to create a smooth finish. Often there will be a blend of cut and loop piles creating an attractive contrast and texture.

The Pros –

1. The high quality attractive appearance and durability.

2. The versatility of design – easier to integrate complex designs into the production process. Other yarns can be introduced, like Silk.

3. The appeal of using natural fibers.

The Cons –

1. Costs are higher. Materials are generally 100-300% higher than nylons.

2. Production times are generally 12 weeks and often much longer.

3. Most production facilities are overseas.


Technique #2 – Custom Rug Fabrication using advanced generation Nylon Fibers:

Custom fabricated rugs are produced in a different way. In the U.S., the availability of nylon carpet is abundant. This availability has created another technique of rugmaking called ‘Custom Inlay Fabrication’.

Each day carpet mills all across the US produce large rolls of tufted carpets in a variety of styles and colors, this is the typical carpet found in all carpet stores. A carpet dealer can order these pre-tufted carpets by the roll, or in smaller quantities. The quality of these nylon yarn systems now parallels, and some would argue that they surpass the traditional wool yarns, for durability and certainly for cleanability.

A rug fabricator then orders the various colors that are needed. A template of the design is carefully created. The design elements are then cut and inlaid into the main field piece, like a puzzle. These rugs are produced on tables.

There is a second phase of this fabrication process called ‘sculpture’ or carving. This is a process of shearing and beveling the design details. If done properly this can elevate the rugmaking process to the elite status preferred by decorators and designers.

Pros –

1. High quality attractive appearance and durability

2. Attractive and affordable price points for a wide range of designs

3. Quick production times at 4-6 weeks.

4. Can be produced with pre-tufted nylon or wool.

5. Produced in the United States.

Cons –

1. Difficult to produce complex designs at affordable price points.

2. Some carpet styles are limited in color ranges.

3. Carpet mills frequently make changes in carpet styles. When your
favorite style is suddenly discontinued, you have to find alternatives.

We’ve just examined the difference between the two major techniques for custom rug manufacturing. Both methods offer an excellent finished product. The natural fiber, tufted wool products will always cost more and in general take longer to produce. The nylon fabricated products have a broader market appeal due to affordability and quicker production times. Wool carpet can be fabricated as well.

Either direction you choose, you should end up with a gorgeous customized home interior that reflects your unique personality and character. Have fun with it!

Note: Rug images featured here on this page, and the entire site were produced using the 2nd technique – Custom Inlay Fabrication. We teach this method.