Tufted Rugs Add Unique Pop of Color to Homes

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tufted rugs with unique designs

Making scarves and sweaters is nothing new for young people, but making rugs using a method called tufting is a relatively recent hobby.

Colorful yarn can be used to design rugs that are like pieces of pop art. Having something in your home that is uniquely yours can warm your heart when the days are still a bit cold.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kumpei Nakatake: Born in Miyazaki Prefecture in 1995. After graduating from Tama Art University, he began tufting as a hobby while working as a designer. He opened KEKE, where he holds tufting workshops, in collaboration with rug manufacturer Miyoshi Rug, in Tokyo’s Nezu district in October 2021.

Tufting, an old manufacturing method, has become popular overseas through social media in recent years, and it has reached Japan as well.

“It’s easy to create a rug once you have a design in mind,” said Kumpei Nakatake, the head of KEKE, a Tokyo-based studio that offers tufting workshops.

The first step in making a rug is to use a projector to display the design or image you want to create onto a piece of cloth stretched over a wooden frame. Then, trace the design using a pen.

Next, use a tufting gun, which is a 1.5-kilogram hand-held machine that shoots yarn through the fabric, to bring your design to life. The process of shooting the yarn through the cloth can be quite exhilarating.

“You can completely lose yourself when making rugs, so it helps relieve stress and gives you a slight feeling of fatigue,” said Chiyuri, Nakatake’s sister who jointly operates KEKE. “I hope people enjoy this extraordinary experience.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Chiyuri Nakatake demonstrates how to use a tufting gun.

Many people use images of their dogs, cats or favorite flowers as inspiration, and the rugs can generally be completed in about four to five hours. They can be either circular or square-shaped and are about 60 by 60 centimeters or 50 by 70 centimeters. The rugs can also be made to fit the shape of the design.

“Even if the design isn’t elaborate, it will look cute once it is made into a fluffy rug,” Nakatake said.

Placing a rug in front of a couch is always a good choice, but it will also look nice at the entrance of your home. It will look cute as seat cushions as well.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The tufted frame of a mirror

The rugs can be used in a wide variety of ways, such as using them as frames for mirrors or just hanging them on a wall.

“Since the pandemic, there are probably more people who have become particular about how the inside of their home looks since they spend more time there,” Nakatake said. “Rugs are often thought to play a supporting role in interior design, but you will love them if they are made to match the rest of the room. Try tufting to add a little pop of color.”

Seasonal touches

Nakatake also designs seasonal items and shares them on social media. Ahead of Valentine’s Day, he created heart-shaped cushions.

“I want to surprise people by creating not only flat rugs but also three-dimensional tufted pieces,” he said.

Nakatake holds tufting workshops from Thursday through Sunday at KEKE and accepts reservations through the studio’s website

(https://kekerug.com/). KEKE also sells tufting tools, including tufting guns and yarn, and has received inquiries from regional communities, he said.