What is Tufted Carpet?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Tufted carpet is a type of carpet with little pieces of cut or looped yarn poking up through a backing. Created with the use of machinery, tufted carpet has a reputation for being sturdy and wearing well over long periods of time. Several popular styles of carpeting make use of the comfortable pile that is created with the tufting process, including Berber carpets.

A punch needle -- also called a rug needle -- can be used embroider designs and to make rugs.
A punch needle -- also called a rug needle -- can be used embroider designs and to make rugs.

These carpets get their name from their tufts, which are essentially clusters of yarn fibers that are drawn through some sort of medium, such as a natural fabric or synthetic base. The tufts project from the surface of the base, and may be loops, as in a Berber carpet, or cut, as in a cut pile carpet. A piece of backing is then added to the medium through which the tufts are drawn, completing the carpet.

The creation of tufted carpets requires the use of a tufting machine. Needles are mounted into position on tufting machines, and help to push the fiber through the base material. Settings on the machine can be programmed to create pile tufts that are uniform in height and distribution. The machines can also be set to create a pattern composed of tufts of different heights.

Tufted carpets may be composed on fibers of a single color, lot, and merge, or be an eclectic mix of hues in a random or specific pattern. Generally, tufted carpet is treated with some form of stain resisting chemicals, which helps to lengthen the life of the carpet. Because tufted carpet can be created with a wide range of natural and synthetic fibers, it is possible to find options that are right for both indoor and outdoor use.

Many people prefer tufted carpet for wall to wall carpeting as well as many large area rugs. It is particularly popular in North America, with an overwhelming majority of carpeting options involving the tufted design. The cost or a carpet varies depending on the choice of fiber used in the construction, the nature of the pattern, and the finished size of the carpeting. Tufted carpet can be found in a number of stores and may be sold by the yard as well as a finished area carpet.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


Hand tufted wool carpet can be made in many beautiful shapes, designs and colors. This carpeting is available in all sizes, from stair runners to area rugs to room-sized rugs.

Because of the labor intensive process of making hand tufted rugs, this carpeting can be very expensive.

However, these wool rugs are sturdy and often made to be stain resistant. As a result, the investment will get the buyer a product likely to last for years.

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