Traditional Rug Hooking is a craft where rugs are made by pulling loops of yarn or fabric through a stiff woven base such as burlap, linen, or rug warp. The loops are pulled through the backing material by using a crochet hook mounted in a handle (usually wood) for leverage.
The rug hooker, with her right hand above the pattern, and the material scraps in her left hand underneath, pushed the hook down through the burlap, catching it on the cloth strip and drawing it back up to form a loop on the top of the burlap.
Fine Hooked Rugs with thinner strips of material and a variety of shading techniques are used.
Primitive Hooked Rugs use wider strips of material and generally little shading is involved.
Tools for Traditional Styles
The tools are the same in either of these forms.
Here is a list of the basic equipment needed:
1. A hand hook - to form a loop pile on the surface of the backing material
2. A Frame - to hold the base material in place for hooking, there are many different types of frames from very simple needlepoint frames to large floor frames
3. Scissors - These are normally small scissors with a bent handle that allow the "hooker" to cut the material very cleanly
4. Cutter and Blades - Used to make strips of wool (or other material) from larger pieces. The thinner the strip of wool the finer the finished product will be.
5. Rug Pattern - The pattern is drawn on the Backing Material and is used as a guideline for hooking. The backing material is usually either burlap, monk's cloth or Linen.
6. Wool Material - Wool can normally be purchased by the yard of the piece and can be purchased in many different colors. You can also use old wool clothing for this and more experienced "hookers" will often custom dye their wool for a specific project.
Latch hooking is what most people think of when someone mentions rug hooking, but it is very different than the other methods of making rugs. Latch Hooking is a newer style of rug making than Traditionally hooked rugs. It uses pre-cut yarn strips, one strip per knot, and forms an open, knotted pile on the surface of the rug. The backing material weave is typically larger than that of Traditional or Punch hooked backing material.