It’s soft, comes in pretty colors, and reminds you of your grandma—but this isn’t your first tuft, and you’ve come to understand that yarn is so much more than sweaters. As a prime part of any tufting practice, it’s helpful to approach this versatile material as you would any art supply—learning-by-doing, ready to experiment, and armed with some basic knowledge. That’s where we come in!
Just like paint, different types of yarn can be “mixed” by threading various cones into your machine simultaneously. We played with different combos, piles, and thread-quantities of all four of our Reflect yarns: Wool, Eco-cotton, Recycled Wool, and Banana Silk. Check out the findings of our (highly scientific) experiments below.
Right: One cone of Eco-cotton and two cones of Banana Silk (Silver) create a natural-looking pattern with just the right amount of shine. A combo like this could be a great way to tuft water, chrome, hair in a portrait, fur in your cat’s portrait, shall we go on?
Left: The best way to achieve new, unique colors is to mix up existing ones. Here we threaded our cut-pile machine with three cones of Recycled Wool in three different colors: Grapefruit, Peach Fuzz, and Brick to get this deep blend of earthy oranges.
Right: Two strands of Recycled Wool (in Grapefruit and Peach Fuzz) come together beautifully with one strand of Reflect Wool in Royal to create a dense, speckled cut-pile. Keep it mind that, as with many of these combinations, you’ll need a yarn feeder that can accommodate the number of cones you plan to use. Learn more about yarn feeders here.
Left: We love the texture created by combining one strand of Eco-cotton (in Heather Gray) with one cone of Reflect Wool in high-contrast Royal, when the ends of the cut-pile cotton fray just enough to combine with the neighboring strands. Since Eco-cotton is a little tougher to sever than Reflect Wool, always make sure your cut-pile machine is well-oiled and cutting properly before diving in.
Right: It’s possible to get a nice loop-pile with just three strands of Recycled Wool, but we love a challenge! Here we loaded up our AK-II with four strands of Recycled Wool in complimentary colors (Peach Fuzz, Grapefruit, Brick, and Terracotta) to get this pretty, natural-looking pattern. Full disclosure, it took a minute to get the hang of tufting with four cones of yarn at once. We recommend playing with the placement of your yarn feeder and screw eyes to avoid tangles.
Left: The bit of recycled viscose in Recycled Wool adds softness that’s enhanced by Banana Silk. Here, two cones of Recycled Wool (in Peach Fuzz and Grapefruit) and two cones of Banana Silk (in Silver) make for a cut-pile that’s both velvety and strong, perfect for your bedside rug.
Right: Things got a little shaggy while tufting this combo cut-pile, achieved with two cones of Heather Gray Eco-cotton and three cones of Banana Silk (two Black, one Silver). While not impossible, five strands of yarn proved a little challenging for the scissors of our cut-pile machine, as seen in the unevenness of the piles. (Hot tip: instead of building a yarn feeder that can accommodate five cones, another option is to double up your yarn, then rewind it onto a single cone with a yarn winder.)
Below: Banana Silk shows more of its luster in loop-pile tufting than cut-pile, as in this swatch, made using four cones of Banana Silk (two Black and two Silver). Because Banana Silk is slicker than other yarns, you might find it has a tendency to want to slip out of the machine needle or tufting cloth. If that happens, try adding one strand of Eco-cotton or Wool in a similar color to help the fibers stay in place. Learn more about this common problem here.
What weird, wonderful things are YOU doing with Reflect tufting yarn?
We can't wait to see! Post your work on Instagram and include the hashtags #tufttheworld and #whatareyoutufting for a chance to be reposted on our main feed.