Fun with Tufting – an heirloom craft revived

Earlier in 2022, I came across a sewing tool I didn’t know anything about. They were metal, small, and even carried a patent. In looking into them, I came across a true craft that seems to have mostly died out.

Let’s start with what they are. These looked to me like foldable ninja stars, and while the shapes are neat, I didn’t know what you were supposed to do with them. I came across a digital copy of the instruction manual, which led me down the rabbit hole.

Known as Amish Stumpwork or German Tuftwork, this technique is a little like “chenille” in embroidery, where stitches are taken over a tool and cut open. People often ask me if this is like punchneedle, and the answer to that is no. Stitches are taken over the tool, and cut open, to remove the tool and create the effect.

We were able to investigate the patent, which has long expired, and also checked on if anyone was creating anything like this currently. Sadly, no one was teaching this technique anymore. That’s when I decided to create a new set of templates that are based off of the original metal versions.

I’m working on some thing really cool for these coming soon. Stay tuned!