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HOOKED RUGS FAQ

1. WHAT ARE YOUR HOOKED RUGS MADE OF?
2. DO YOU USE A HOOK AS THE NAME IMPLIES?
3. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A RUG?
4. DO YOU DESIGN YOUR OWN RUGS?
5. HOW DO YOU MAKE THE RUGS?
6. ARE YOU STILL MAKING HOOKED RUGS?
7. DO YOU MASS PRODUCE THE RUGS?
8. HOW MANY OF EACH RUG HAVE YOU MADE?
9. WHERE WOULD I FIND PATTERNS FOR HOOKED RUGS IF I WANT TO MAKE MY OWN RUGS?

1. WHAT ARE YOUR HOOKED RUGS MADE OF?

Each loop is made from one strand of DMC floss. It is looped through a fabric backing that has a tight weave.
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2. DO YOU USE A HOOK AS THE NAME IMPLIES?

No, I actually use a punch needle. The loop is punched through the cloth from the back. In traditional rug hooking the hook is pushed through the cloth from the front and the loop is pulled up. The result is the same.
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3. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A RUG?

A rug can take up to 80 hours, depending on the size, complexity of the design and the number of colors.
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4. DO YOU DESIGN YOUR OWN RUGS?

No, many of the rugs are exact copies of antique hooked rugs that are hanging in museums. The rest are copies of modern rugs that I thought were particularly beautiful. Early on I decided that I would replicate these wonderfully folksy rugs as close to the original as I possibly could. That meant not changing anything. Some rugs have very primitive looking animals and the temptation is there to improve upon the drawing, but this would take away from the charm. In one rug called "Lion and Beavers", I've yet to figure out which of the little critters are the beavers (they all look like birds to me), but I stick to the original. That also means that some rugs are not perfectly 'square'. This disturbed me at first until I realized that the 2 fullsized antique rugs that I have at home are not 'square' either. We get so used to the precision of machine made objects that we forget that hand made pieces aren't always (or even usually) perfectly symetrical. So I've focused on trying to make my rugs look as much like the originals as I can, except smaller, quirks and all.
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5. HOW DO YOU MAKE THE RUGS?

I first choose a rug to copy and then make a pattern of the design and transfer it to cloth. The cloth is then stapled onto stretcher boards so that it is very taut. Next comes the very tedious process of matching the DMC floss to the colors in the rug. Some rugs have 30 or more colors and some very subtle shading. This is a very important step if the rug is to really match the original. After that it is just a matter of punching the loops through the cloth. Since I'm working on the backside, everything is actually reversed from the rug I'm copying. I think of it as painting with thread. Once the entire rug is finished I remove it from the stretcher blocks and add a rug backing to hold the loops in place. Without this, one pulled loop could unravel a good portion of the rug. The last step is to cut out the rug along the edges.
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6. ARE YOU STILL MAKING HOOKED RUGS?

No, I'm not. In the future I may make some more for my own doll houses because I love the way hooked rugs make a room look. But they are so time consuming that it simply isn't practical to produce them commercially. I had hoped that over time that I would be able to make them faster, but the rugs are so intricate, with so many different colors and shadings that I simply couldn't speed up without sacrificing quality. So I don't make them anymore.
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7. DO YOU MASS PRODUCE THE RUGS?

No, I make them one rug at a time, one loop at a time. I've never used those mechanical punch needles. Needle punching can be very relaxing and I think a mechanical puncher would spoil that. It is a craft, and I think crafts should be done with love, not haste.
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8. HOW MANY OF EACH RUG HAVE YOU MADE?

I've only made one of each rug. There are so many rugs I would like to do that I never felt the need to repeat any.
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9. WHERE WOULD I FIND PATTERNS FOR HOOKED RUGS IF I WANT TO MAKE MY OWN RUGS?

I've listed several books in my on-line Bookstore in the Hooked Rugs section that show beautiful antique and modern hooked rugs. Another source for authentic patterns is a book called "Descriptive Catalogue of E. S. Frost & Co's Hooked Rug Patterns". It is put out by the Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. It is a catalog for full sized patterns, but the catalog book shows all the patterns reduced. Some are exactly 1/12th scale. These are line drawings in black and white. No colors are given in the catalog. I don't know if they come with the pattern when you order it.
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