Heritage Crafts

Rug tufting

Creation of tufted rugs using a powered hand tool, and also carving relief patterns on the rug surface.
Currently viable
Craft category
Historic area of significance
Yorkshire / West Coast of Scotland
Area practiced currently
Origin in the UK


Rug tufting was first introduced with the development of the tufting gun in the 1960s-70s. The technology has not changed since then.

Rug tufting is a creative and flexible medium that allows for the creation of a wide variety of images.  Rug tufting is gaining in popularity and has seen a surge of interest fuelled by social media and TikTok. There are more artists using the medium and many hobbyists taking up the craft.


Drawing the designs, using the gun to ensure the correct pile height/ density of stitching is achieved, cutting down and finishing and carving the rug.

See www.turnberryrugworks.com  for a video of the operation


  • Yarn dyeing

Issues affecting the viability

  • Sourcing raw materials: Difficulty in sourcing yarn
  • Market issues: Overseas price competition
  • Business issues: Making a sufficient margin to be able to extend marketing activities

Support organisations


Training organisations


Craftspeople currently known

  • Area Rugs and Carpets
  • Unique Rugs and Carpets
  • Trendytuft
  • Turnberry Carpets
  • Dovecot Studios
  • Hoxa Tapestry
  • Helen Yardley
  • Caroline Acaintre
  • Christine Crofts
  • The Woolly Rug Co. Ltd.

Other information

The availability of cheaper tufting guns from China has meant that more learners are picking up the craft. There a number of educational establishment who are teaching the skills or have the equipment available for students.

  • Goldsmiths University
  • London Metropolitan University
  • Salford University
  • Birmingham City University
  • Central Lancashire University
  • Wolverhampton University
  • Staffordshire University
  • University of Plymouth
  • University of Huddersfield



National Lottery Heritage Fund
Swire Charitable Trust
The Royal Mint
Pilgrim Trust
Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation
William Grant Foundation

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