Designer Rug Making Techniques: Secrets Revealed
5 Rug Making Techniques That Will Elevate Your Game
By: Russell Webb
Let’s start with carpet qualities and how to choose the right style of carpet. As an aspiring rug maker making Designer Rugs you want to offer your client the best options you can. It’s important to be aware of all the carpet styles and qualities in stock.
In the custom rug-making process that I teach, I use broadloom carpets. All styles and colors are pre-tufted as the broadloom carpet at the carpet mill.
For example, I order the colors and quantities as needed on a job-by-job basis. Operating this way can help inventory costs low.
A broadloom machine weaves carpet in rolls at 12′-15′ widths, hence the name broadloom.
Here’s an inside look at the top-rated carpet mills. They will be your source for materials. Let’s look at a few available styles.
Mohawk Inc & Shaw Carpet are the largest manufacturers of carpets. In the last two decades, there has been a ruthless consolidation of carpet mills. Most of the smaller mills were purchased by these two giants. They now boast extensive selections in every style imaginable. Both of these companies have the highest ratings for quality and durability. And, naturally, you will find a broad range of price points.
Masland Carpets & Fabrica International are both small scale specialized carpet mills. They are now a subsidiary of the Dixie Group. I have found that finding the exact color is a vital necessity, especially for logo-rug projects. Because of their color lines, I have sourced them for many of my rug projects.
Design Materials Inc. has an extensive selection of sisal carpets, sisal wool blends, & sisal grass products. The sisal carpet is woven into a jute backing. It is ideal for rug fabrication. Sisal carpets can be ‘bordered’ with tapestry fabrics for a unique look. This popular trend has been going strong for the past decade. Check out my custom fabric border page for more information.
How to choose the right carpet style for your project.
Here are a few suggestions on choosing the best carpet styles for your project.
Dense commercial grades are ideal if you want a short carpet pile height. Some mills, like Masland, have a fantastic selection of colors.
You’ll want a 30-40 oz face weight carpet, which is most common. There are plenty of current trending colors available from Mohawk and Shaw.
Residential grades tend to be thick and plush.
Most homeowners looking for designer rugs desire a thick plush carpet.
Designer rug-making techniques are enhanced with thick plush styles. Hand-carving allows for the carpet sculpture to emerge, including the coveted bas-relief techniques.
I always recommend going with the highest quality carpet. As a professional rug-maker, your target market will be clients who can afford your rugs.
I know how to market my products to clients who can afford my rugs. I will share these strategies with every student.
Some styles have a smooth velvety finish, like the image above, and are thick, plush, and luxurious.
The current trends in manufacturing are moving towards a more textured look. Many textured styles are equally plush, yet have a few extra twists that give the face yarns a little more dimension.
These styles are known as ‘textured styles’ and they are great for minimizing foot prints & vacuum marks from the rug.
Blending both of these styles can create an exceptional custom rug: The field piece (main body) can be textured and the design elements can be a velvet plush.
The current trends in manufacturing are moving towards a more textured look. Some textured styles are equally plush yet have a few extra twists that give the face yarns a little more dimension.
These styles are known as ‘textured’ styles and they are great for minimizing footprints & vacuum marks from the rug.
Blending both of these styles can create an exceptional custom rug. The field piece (main body) can be textured and design elements can be a velvet plush.
Let's recap with our list of Rug Making Techniques.
- Use commercial grade carpet when you need a short and durable pile height. Great for commercial spaces using designer logo rugs.
- Use residential plush carpet for a thicker and heavier designer rug. Perfect for home environments.
- Some carpet styles will give you a smooth velvet finish, while others might be Berber with small to large sized loops. Our favorite is a plush textured carpet used to hide and reduce footprints.
- Use sisals and sisal wool blends for natural flooring appearances.
- The best carpet styles for designer rug making can be found at these Mills: Masland, Fabrica, Design Materials, Mohawk, and Shaw.
In the end, it all comes down to what your needs are.
If you need a rug that can take more foot traffic then choose a short commercial grade style.
If you want a rug that is thicker & more luxurious, then choose a residential grade.
Maybe you are looking for a natural fiber that has a woven appearance, then choose a sisal carpet.
You can even blend carpet styles to create a multi-level look and feel.
I love this approach and have used it often.
That’s it for this piece on Designer Rug Making Techniques. I hope it was helpful.
Russell has been designing & fabricating premium custom rugs since 1991. He has helped 100’s of companies, gov agencies, & private clients with their custom rug needs. You can reach me at my contact page.