August 18, 2016

Rug Hooking- New Obsession

Do you have Craft Attention Deficit Disorder?

I do! And there is no cure!

My latest project? Rug hooking.

Any time I see a hooked rug creation, it stops me in my tracks. I love the bumpy texture and the way all the colours are intermingling. It's that love I have for colourful texture that draws me in. It kind of reminds me of impressionist paintings.

Rag Rug by Kaffe Fassett

The hooked rug method is all about pulling up loops of fabric, felt or wool through some backing fabric which creates a neater appearance than a latch hooked surface. Latch hooking is so 70's. (Though I'm sure someone could prove me wrong there and show me a great version of a creation that's been latch hooked.)

My first venture into rug hooking

I first read about the method in one of Kaffe Fassett's books (One that I talked about here). I like that there weren't many rules in his book. I always thought you had to source pure wool fabric, felt it and maybe even dye it in different shades and then cut into uniform strips. When he said to use any type of fabric, this was motivation enough for me to try it out. I'm using cotton, old jersey fabric from worn out clothes, and anything else I happen to find in my fabric stash.

Some people stretch their work over a frame but I'm once again choosing the lazy crafters method and just hooking it as is. I am using hessian (I think it's called burlap in the US?) as the backing, and a crochet hook as I don't have a proper rug hooking tool. 

The going is a little slow. Especially slow compared to some videos I've seen of people doing this, and perhaps it's because I don't have the right tool, or that I just haven't got my technique down pat yet. I would like to get a proper tool as maybe it would make the task easier. Although to me they look like crochet hooks inset into a wooden handle. Then again, maybe my hessian is too- tightly woven.

Photo of hooked owls from Mary Art Spirit (I have a bit of an obsession with her work!)

A close up of the method of rug hooking. Image credit

Reminds me of the texture in this rug found at Temple & Webster

So I'll let you know how I go! In the meantime, if you want to check it out how to do it too there are lots of videos on you-tube showing how. Maybe I can share my pattern here when I'm done if it looks any good. I know it piqued a few people's interest when I posted it on instagram. I do think it's a good project to sit down to on a weeknight or lazy Sunday, and it's also a good way to upcycle any old clothes.

What do you think? Have you tried out this craft?

Jules :)


Mary Stanley said...

Hi Jules, Thank you for including me in your post! I love your work and think you will find rug hooking as enjoyable and creative as I do! I do hope you can find a rug hook soon, it does make it a lot easier to hook! I like the bent tip ones, but there are many different ones out there.

Vicki Stone said...

it goes hugely faster with a proper hook and frame. and even faster thanthat, try a rug PUNCH tool,NOT a NEEDLE punch, that uses floss and is more like loopy embroidery. a susan bates ( I think) rug punch and two threaders is about $6.00 USA. if you love it,than spend $40 for an Amy Oxford rug punch. punches use yarn

Jules Madden said...

Thanks Vicki! Guess what? I inherited my great grandmothers punching tools, it's definitely quicker!


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