The first mechanized tufting machine, attributed to the Glen Looper Foundry of Dalton, appeared in the 1930s.
Machines that had four, eight, 24 or more needles quickly developed so that parallel rows of stitches, called "tufting," could be made.
New tufting technology is producing a great deal more freedom of design, according to industry observers.
The economies of tufting make this a category to watch closely, particularly in mass-market products, according to suppliers.
From a manufacturing standpoint, tufting is significantly less capital intensive than the woven rug business.
Because of equipment limitations, tufting has traditionally told a texture story, not a pattern story.
Tapistron, based in the center of the country's carpet industry, developed the patented CYP machine, a sophisticated tufting apparatus.
Graphics Tufting Center is a contract tufting manufacturer that produces carpet for both the residential and contract broadloom segments.
"We are committed to this category and want to be able to control the product's tufting, cutting, printing and sewing.
"The addition of Matrix Tufting will increase our ability to develop innovative new rugs, both for our coordinated collections and for other rooms in the home," she explains.