Sometimes I wish it had another name... have I heard the hooking jokes! Although the other names aren't hip or fun either (mat making, rug making, hooking mats). Yes, this is hooking. If you do this, you will be a hooker.
Rug hooking is a art undertaken all over the world, but is most popular in the areas where it originated, which is New England in the US, and the Maritime Provinces in Canada (basically the East Coast, and the 'Northern' East Coast at that). It originally began out of necessity, taking old burlap bags or other farming products, tearing up strips of old clothing and other used material, and pulling up the material through the bags to create mats. It has evolved into an art form, and uses all types of materials.
What tools to do I need?The 'backing' is usually a longer lasting material than the old burlap used in the past (linen, which resembles burlap, or other materials like monks cloth or rug warp), and often 100% wool is used for the fabric, although you can hook with yarn, velvet, cotton, and basically anything else that can be cut into strips and doesn't fall apart.The only other tools you need are a hook, something to hold the backing tight (a quilt hoop or a frame), and a pair of scissors. There are a few other materials need to finish the edge of the rug such as yarn, thread, and sometimes cording. That's it!The actual process of hooking is quite simple. There's no counting, there's no tying, no knots. It's a matter of pulling up the strips of wool through the backing. No, they won't fall out! The beauty comes from the design and the colors. There are a range of styles, from primitive which uses wide cuts and often simple patterns, to traditional which includes smaller cuts and more intricate designs.
Do they actually go on the floor? Well, yes and no. Most of the Loopy Wool Supply rugs go on the floor, and have yet to actually hang one on the wall, although I have given gifts that end up on the wall. The best floors are low traffic areas out of direct sunlight. Smaller rugs often end up on tables or under other display items. They can also be made into items (purses, coasters, hot plates, pillows, etc.).Why rug hooking is awesome:The artistry that is possible with rug hooking is amazing. It's super easy to learn how to hook, and projects can be any size or shape. The array of beautiful fabric available and the color possibilities are endless. Finally, it can be incredibly relaxing and stress relieving, there is something calming about the constant motion of pulling up strips of wool, and it helps to feel productive while binging on a new Netflix series. Why not create a beautiful piece of art at the same time.