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Tuft Stuff: What Is Tufting + Why Is It Trending?

If you’ve been shopping for an upholstered piece - whether it’s a sofa, sectional or bed - chances are you’ve come across a style detail that adds dimension and distinction. Displayed in a variety of patterns, tufting is achieved by threading through layers of fabric or leather and securing the thread with a knot or button at each end.

This technique creates dimples and raised bunches of fabric, or tufts, that showcase the plushness of the padding. Although tufting has been around since England’s Victorian era, today it’s as popular as ever. From classic traditional pieces, to tailored modern designs, this decorative element is a desirable, versatile feature.

tufted reversible sofa chaise

Origin + Evolution

Applied as anchoring stitches that helped secure supportive filling in place, tufting was often used in mattresses, sofas and chairs to prevent the stuffing from shifting. These days, tufting is more decorative detail than functional feature thanks to advances in construction methods and other stationary means of support.

tufted sectional

Blind Tufting

Buttonless tufting - or blind tufting - is a modern, minimalist approach to the technique. It’s also preferred for those who have kids and pets, since they can accidentally pull off the buttons, or the buttons can come loose after a lot of jumping and bouncing.

mid century tufting

Biscuit Tufting

Featuring a square or box pattern, biscuit tufting results in a more contemporary or mid-century look, which can be achieved with or without buttons. Here, it emphasizes the boxy tuxedo shape of the frame.

button tufted bed

Button Tufting

In this method, buttons are secured where the fabric indents. The look typically skews traditional, as button tufting is often used in Chesterfield sofas, which are a classic icon of furniture design.

channel tufted bed

Channel Tufting

Depending on the styling, channel tufting can translate as thoroughly retro throwback detail, or deeply trendy design element. These stitched lines are shown in vertical and horizontal iterations that serve to elongate silhouettes.

diamond tufted bed

Diamond Tufting

The most popular and, arguably, the most comfortable type of tufting, diamond tufting involves gathering and securing fabric in a diamond pattern. Each tuft features extra cushioning for a more plush feel

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.