I think it is safe to say that everyone loves tufting. No really – everyone. It has a very feminine quality when applied to an upholstered headboard or masculine feeling when used on a leather sofa in a lawyer’s office. With the recent crazy of classical modern design, people love tufting more than ever and they seem to be using it in every form. Tufting is even do-it-yourself friendly which means any house wife with a needle and thread is bound to get her tuft on sooner or later. But lets just pretend for a moment that you aren’t a complete expert on the subject and lets cover some tufting basics that could put your tufting knowledge above and beyond that of your friends. There are two general types of type, a regular tuft and a diamond tuft. You will know the difference between the two because the diamond tuft creates the shape of a … diamond, while the regular tuft makes a square-like shape. Looking at the history of furniture can really help you decide which type of tuft to use to create the look you are going for or to enhance the overall style of your space. Diamond tufts have a much more traditional history BUT with all the classical revival taking place, it now has developed a kind hip glamour quality. Regular tufts seem to carry a more modern style.
The next aspect of tufting that you need to consider it the depth of the tuft. Deep tufting has a very sensual and luxurious type feeling, but be careful because there is a fine line between sexy and the las vegas love palace (if you know what I mean.) A more shallow tuft has a very subtle feeling and is commonly used in country style homes or cottages. Another aspect of tufting that people don’t often consider is the scale of the tuft. You generally see a medium size tuft used on headboards but a slightly smaller tuft for sofas. Think about this: try using two scales of tufting on one sofa with a smaller scale on the back of the sofa and a larger scale on the seat. From a distance the tufts will begin to look like a pattern of fabric instead of a texture. For less dramatic impact use large scale tufts and for bold statements use small scale tufts. Last thing to consider is the material that you are using to be tufted. Generally people like to use a solid color fabric because the tufting adds its own level of visual interest. There are always alternatives to that, but if you do decide to go with a print I would suggest using something asymmetrical like a floral print so that the tufting doesn’t interrupt the pattern. Also consider materials with high textural values like silk, velvet or leather. Now that you know all there is to know about tufting feel free to use it anywhere and everywhere. And remember, tuft responsibly.