One of the basics of tufting is to keep your tufting cloth taut and firm. Loose or slack backing cloth leads to many problems such as rips and holes in the cloth. Not only that but you won’t be able to execute complex maneuvers and movements such as curves with the tufting gun if the backing cloth is not stretched tight on the tufting frame.
Moreover, the yarn will not stick to the primary tufting cloth firmly and might start to unravel by the time you’re done with your tufting. This all calls for attaching and stretching the tufting cloth to the frame in a way it will not come off accidentally or become slack with time. Read more to find out how to fix the cloth to the frame.
How to Attach Backing Cloth to the Frame
There are three ways to attach the tufting cloth to the frame that ensure that the canvas is taught and can withstand the pressure you apply on the tufting gun. Here are the three ways and how to apply each one.
Carpet Tack Strips
This is usually the easiest and most effective way to keep the cloth firmly attached to the tufting frame. Start by spreading the backing cloth over the frame making sure the edges of the cloth extend beyond all four sides of the frame. Place the first carpet tack strip at the top edge of the frame making sure that the tacks are at an angle facing upward.
Press the tacks firmly with your thumb. If that’s too difficult since the top edge of the frame is too high for you, you can use a hammer to drive them in. Make sure the head of each tack is firmly resting on the strip. Repeat with the other sides of the frame pulling the edge of the cloth tightly before pushing the tacks in.
Carpet tack strips are quite effective at attaching the backing cloth to the frame, but they require physical strength to push them in. If you want a less elaborate way to attach the cloth to the frame, you can use glue. The downside is that the glue takes time to dry and there’s a chance it might come off while tufting. So, I wouldn’t recommend this method.
Use a staple gun to nail the cloth into the frame. The advantage this method has over tack strips is that it doesn’t require physical strength and you’re less likely to get it wrong. If the cloth is still slack when you’re done attaching it, just pull it tight at one side and nail the canvas to the frame.