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If you’ve wanted to learn traditional rug hooking but you’re just not sure where to begin or how to get information, I can help! This article shows you what you need to get started and teaches you the basics.
The first traditional hooked rugs in North America were probably made in the eighteenth century in the areas of the Northeastern United States and the maritime provinces of Canada. This fiber art expanded out of those areas and into the rest of the United States during the Victorian era. Women created hooked rugs in their homes or in groups, much like quilting bees, using strips of cloth scraps from clothes, rags and feed sacks.
There are many brands, prices and sizes of hooks. You can start with a less expensive hook, but always choose a hook that corresponds with the width of the wool strip you wish to use and one that fits your hand comfortably. Rug hooks are gauged fine, medium, primitive and coarse to guide you in choosing one that will work with the width you intend to use.
Several rug hooking foundations are available from inexpensive burlaps to higher-
Rug hooking frames also vary widely in price, size and capability. Some are stationary and others swivel and tilt. Frames can sit in your lap, stand on the floor, or be stabilized by your own weight (sit-
Strip cutters cut wool into strips. Different size cutter heads fit into the strip cutter to produce wool in the strip width you need. Strips are measured in 32nds of an inch; when you see ‘strip cut #8,’ that means the strip of wool is 8/32-
There is much to learn about choosing the correct wool for rug hooking. Fabric stores do not generally carry what you need. You can recycle wool clothing if it is labeled 100% wool and is not worsted, twill, or gabardine. When you first begin rug hooking, choose a kit that includes the cut wool and a pattern. As you progress, you’ll learn the best wool to purchase. There are many online retailers and local shops that carry wool specifically for rug hooking. For an overview of which wool to use and which not to use, see Types of Wools.
You can design your own pattern or purchase from many commercially-