TikToker creates custom rugs and the process is mesmerizing: ‘I could watch this forever’

Jacob Winter found an unusually cool pastime while self-isolating.

The 22-year-old Brooklyn-based artist took on tufting. It’s a type of textile weaving where threads are inserted into a base fabric. Winter uses it to make rugs and shares his creations on his TikTok.

The ancient technique, once done by hand, has been modernized with tools like the tufting gun that Winter uses, which makes it easier to weave the materials. 

“I got into tufting only a few months ago when quarantine was at its peak. I had a lot of time on my hands at the time and I needed to let my creativity out,” Winter told In The Know. “I then watched YouYube videos of people tufting for about a month and fully fell in love and needed to give it a try. What I enjoy the most about it is making something that’s typically not a rug, into a rug.” 

With only a few videos on his account, Winter has posted clips of his blue dog rug and an interlocking hands rug

“The process always has to start with a sketch or an idea,” Winters told In The Know. “That usually takes the longest for me because I have to visually see every colorway possible. I then redraw it onto the fabric and I start tufting piece-by-piece. Once I’m done tufting, I clean up any mistakes with my scissors and tweezer before I start gluing.” 

Winters uses AAT-1132 glue to seal and laminate the back of each rug.

“It takes about 12 hours to glue and I am then able to cut it out of the fabric,” he said. “Then fold the edges of the rug inwards for a clean siding and then glue a felt backing on top so the backing is sensitive to the ground.” 

Winter’s most popular rug on TikTok is a bit more abstract. And like many of his videos, it provides great insight into what the tufting process actually looks like.

First, he outlines the image onto a piece of cloth he has hanging up in his workspace. Next, Winter uses the tufting gun to fill in the outline. The gun weaves in the purple and orange yarn from behind the canvas. In front, the yarn appears vibrant, dense and fluffy. He then uses scissors and tweezers to remove any excess yarn or errors. Finally, he cuts the massive rug out of the cloth. The completed project is an amorphous, shaggy orange, purple and tan rug. 

“Wow, I could watch this forever,” one TikTok user wrote.

“Now I get why rugs are do damn expensive,” another said.

“I all of a sudden wanna make a rug?” someone wrote.

Enjoy reading this article? Check out how this Japanese artist creates tiny, intricate scenes out of leaves.

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