[Feature] Tufting Base Nimaru! Create your own original rug
Do you know what is tufting?
It is an activity popular overseas which involves making an original rug using special tools and threads.
In Japan, it has been attracting a lot of attention recently due to the increase of time spent at home and the DIY (do it yourself) boom.
Oe Town in Yamagata Prefecture is the only place in the Tohoku area where you can experience tufting, so I decided to give it a try!
1. Tohoku Tufting Base Maru
This time, I asked about the tufting base Maru.
Have a look at this!
That looks old!
I don’t have many opportunities to see old traditional warehouses so close, so I can’t stop being excited just from the outdoor appearance.
The white of the wall is also beautiful.
And the original rugs that welcome you…
This is also cute!
Nimaru is a cute name that gives you a sense of familiarity.
When I asked Mr. Kawamura, the owner, he was the second son of the owners of Hozumi Seni, a long-established carpet shop in Nakayama Town.
Mr. Kawamura, who was originally involved in a completely different industry.
In July 2022, he opened the Tufting Space Nimaru with the desire to spread the culture of rugs.
・ Atelier in a warehouse
With excitement in your heart, let’s go inside!
Oh… the word atelier is ideal for this space, but it’s also interesting that it has a different atmosphere from the outside.
Inside the atelier
・Entrance: Exhibition of tufting works
・Center: Work space
・Back: Yarn and tool storage
If you look at the tufting works, there are rugs unique to Yamagata that use shapes and dialects of Yamagata Prefecture.
The softness of the cat paws is also irresistible!
Of course, you can also buy it, so if you like it, please take a look and touch it.
At that time, I was so excited that I thought, “This parakeet is so cute!”, but it will be a while before I realize how hard it is to use this color scheme and curve… lol
You’ll want to take it home early even before you make it.
There are many types of threads, so you can enjoy it from the selection of threads.
2. Here we go! Tufting experience
The shooting in the atelier will start soon, and the tufting experience will start immediately!
First you do the reservation (design selection), then the draft and practice, and finally start on the production.
First of all, from advance reservation!
There is a LINE official account for Nimaru, so you can easily make a reservation from there.
40cm: 18,000 yen
60cm: 23,000 yen
At first, I felt that the price was quite high, but after the activity, I was satisfied considering the difficulty and time and effort.
The design can be decided while communicating in advance on LINE.
It is also safe to consult in advance about the desired design.
Preliminary design selection is also very important.
The tip of the tufting gun that drives the thread is as thin as 0.7m, which makes tufting complex lines and curves really difficult.
It seems that complex designs will be easier to make if the rug size is over 60 cm, but it will take more time to make, so please consult with the atelier for the time required for the activity when making your reservation.
I decided to try making something with a width of 40cm this time.
② Draft & Practice
As a result of debating various designs and consulting with the atelier, we decided to work on Yamagata’s jewel, the cherry!
In Mr. Kawamura’s wonderful words, “This is not that difficult!”
First, a projector is used to project the design onto the tufting cloth that serves as the base.
The consultation was made in advance so it was decided quickly, but according to Mr. Kawamura, there are many participants who get lost during this design selection.
Please feel free to contact the atelier before participating as they will be happy to assist you with prior design consultations.
It is also recommended to consider several ideas according to the difficulty in their making.
Now, trace the projected illustration with a permanent marker.
Please note that the illustration is reversed by the projector.
(I had the leaf part backwards, so I corrected it)
Once the draft is finished, it’s finally time to use the tufting gun!
Before we started weaving threads with this specialized tool, Mr. Kawamura gave us a thorough lecture on how to use it and what we should be careful about.
Since it is a tool that drives threads, there are precautions to follow to prevent entangling threads and causing injury.
“If you have any questions, feel free to ask,” he said.
After the lecture, we will actually drive the thread.
As the name “tufting gun” suggests, it is quite fast and makes a lot of noise.
When I try to draw two lines,
The other side has a soft finish!
I’m a little touched by this…
It’s important to leave a little space between the shots, but it seemed that I had to actually experience this area to get a feel for it.
By the way, the tufting gun moves when the power is turned on and the trigger is pulled, and the thread is cut when the gun is stopped.
Since the machine itself moves automatically from bottom to top, basically the thread is driven from bottom to top.
The point is to press it vertically against the underlying cloth and drive it in at a constant speed.
I’m a clumsy writer, and I wanted to practice more, but he said, “You’ll understand better if you actually move your hands!”
It is also a point to start from a place with a large area.
He also advised me, “It’s good practice to fill in the outline after you’ve drawn it.”
In the actual production, I was able to proceed with a lot of peace of mind because Mr. Kawamura gave me points such as where to start and about the order in doing it.
It is said that it is better to use the gun in small increments, but at first, you cannot hit in the desired direction and it will fail slightly at the bottom of the outline.
But don’t worry!
One of the charms of tufting is that even a small mistake can be corrected immediately! ! !
You can easily try again by removing the thread from the failed part.
By the time the outline is finished, I have become quite accustomed to it.
The sound of the tufting gun, “da-da-da-da…” has become comfortable.
When I thought that it was a nostalgic immersive feeling, I remembered!
So far, I have had many craft experiences, such as Tendo Shogi! Make your own chess piece and Paper Lamp! Make your own with Gassan paper, but this immersive and exhilarating feeling is really indescribable.
I’m going to drive the thread in the middle of the day.
After taking a break and checking the surface…
It’s becoming something like that!
I’m so happy that I check the surface every time I take a break lol
When you see it like this, the tension rises!
Mr. Kawamura is good at pushing the motivation switch again!
“Wow, you’re good at it!”, “This part is a bit difficult, but it feels great!”
With that motivation, I fill in the cherry stems → leaves → fruit in order.
Fill in the red part of the fruit and finish the work with the tufting gun!
What’s going on with the surface…?
Have a look at this! ! !
At first, I was thinking of using it as a cushion for an entryway or a chair, but I can’t use it that way anymore lol.
It seems that there are many people who have the same attachment, so most of them hang it on a wall.
I totally understand that feeling.
And above all, the sense of accomplishment is irresistible!
I was convinced that this would certainly be popular.
Finally, the surface is prepared, and this activity is completed.
The time will vary depending on the design and size, but this time it took about 3 hours.
I was worried at first, but when I finished, I felt nothing but a sense of accomplishment, exhilaration, and satisfaction.
I would like to try a more difficult design next time!
Parents and children can enjoy the activity together as it seems that they are accepting participants from the fifth grade of elementary school and older.
(Parents are more likely to get addicted)
By the way, the finished rug needs final processing, so it will arrive in about 1-2 weeks after completion.
I’m looking forward to this time too.
3. Finished product arrives
So, a week and a little later, the finished product arrived!
Here it is!
Aaaah, so cute…
I did a lot better than I thought I would.
“Even though everyone initially planned to use their work as a rug, as they make it, they become attached to it and display it one after another.”
Mr. Kawamura said, and I thought it was really true.
The only activity in Yamagata Prefecture that remains both in memory and as a record.
Please try it!
Finally, we received a message from the owner, Mr. Kawamura, to everyone who watches VISIT YAMAGATA.
“I would like to convey the culture of rugs through the tufting experience.
We are waiting for you to make only one original rug in the world! ”