What Size Wool Should I Hook With?

The answer to this question is easy: it depends!

 

We have 5 wool sizes available at Loopy: #3, #4, #5, #6 and #8.

 

 

If you don't have access to a cutter, and purchase uncut wool, larger strips of wool are much easier to cut, and for very primitive style rugs the strips can be ripped to cut.

Hand cutting the wool with scissors can be very time consuming, so either purchasing precut strips, or using a cutter is a necessity for working with these small sizes. Fortunately, Loopy has the beautiful Bolivar Cutter from Nova Scotia. Small cuts are no problem! Interested in learning about more primitive style rug hooking? There are lots of websites that focus on this style.

 There are a few things to consider when picking what width to hook with:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Backing. Tighter weave backing is suited for smaller wool, looser weaves are better for larger wool, or more the more primitive style. Backing comes in different weaves (often identified by the threads per inch). 14 threads per inch is more suited to smaller cuts, the other standard size is usually 12 threads per inch.

  1. Detail of the pattern. Patterns with a lot of detail will need a smaller cut (if you want to have the detail show). There are certainly ways to adapt a detailed pattern to a more primitive cut, but following the pattern fully might mean working with a smaller cut.
  2. Speed. Yes, it's much faster to hook with a larger cut. Sometimes it makes sense to use a smaller cut for parts of a rug, and then hook the background in a larger cut. You can mix up cut sizes within one rug, and often you'll see rugs hooked in 2 or 3 cut sizes.

The look of the three pieces is also slightly different and uses a different number of wool strips:

 

These four pieces are all done on primitive linen, so it is possible to use a cut as small as a #4 on primitive linen, although this may be harder for beginners. With cuts higher than an #8 or #10, a special hook that is thicker (Hartman hook is an example) will widen the hole of the linen to allow the wool strip to easily pass through.

 





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