All About Tufting
Tufting is a timeless look that continues to pop up in every room of the house. These delightful dimples create dimension and definition. The technique can be applied heavily throughout or used sparingly to punctuate an upholstered furnishing for a range of looks from stayed traditional to stunningly modern.
Tailored in effect, tufting is a process of applying anchoring stitches to keep cushioning and upholstery fitting snuggly in place and secured to the frame of the piece. Used on all kinds of upholstered pieces from headboards and sofas to chairs and ottomans, the final appearance has an appealing look that showcases the plushness of the padding and fabric.
Button or Blind – Often hand tied, the tufting stitches can be festooned with a button or without. Blind tufting has no buttons. This offers a more minimal look that is popular with contemporary and modern pieces. Blind tufting can also be a better choice for families who expect more rambunctious use of the furniture. Buttons can come loose from too much jumping or bouncing and are more likely to catch on kids clothing or pop off. Blind tufting is most often achieved with stitched seam panels, providing a strong place for the binding thread or twine to be attached.
Diamond Tufting - As the name implies, diamond tufting with its staggered dimples creates a diamond shaped pattern on the piece. It is the most popular and traditional. This tufting pattern can be executed with or without buttons. The diamond shape can be accentuated with pleated folds or seamed panels.
Biscuit Tufting – The tufting pattern is square for biscuit tufting resulting in a more linear and often modern look. Similar to diamond tufting, the look can be achieved with or without buttons and utilizing pleats or seamed panels.
Channel Tufting and Horizontal Channel Tufting – Channel tufting is long stitched lines rather than dimples. More often than not the term channel tufting it implies that the stitched channels are vertical. If the channels on the piece are horizontal, the directionality is typically indicated.
Other tufting options - Shop around and you’ll soon see that tufted looks are varied. Some pieces have deep, plush tufting richly applied across the upholstery while others may have subtly dimpled tufting sprinkled in a couple of key areas. So whether you are looking for exaggerated or demure, trendy or timeless there’s a tufted look that’s just right for you.
See also our related article: Talking Tufted Furniture