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5 Styles Of Rug Hooking To Choose From

Rug hooking has been around for centuries. In fact it is believed to date back to the third century where descendants of ancient Egyptians are believed to have made the very first hand hooked rugs. It is believed that China began making rug hooking shortly after.

Of course over time it made it's way to the western world where it is considered as one of North America's oldest folk art styles. Colonial women could not afford to have these rugs shipped from Europe so they were quick to figure out how to make their own by using rags. It was the perfect solution to covering up bare floors. They used burlap sacks that the livestock feed came in as the bottom of the hook rag rugs.

By the 1940s it was no longer required as a functional decor element but it became one of the most popular and fastest growing hobbies in North America. It was quick to catch on because it's easy to learn. Today it is still a popular pastime and a terrific folk art addition to a room.

There are 5 styles of rug hooking to choose from

1. Primitive

This is perfect for the beginner because it is the easiest style to learn. It uses " strips of wool and produces simplistic works that resemble child type drawings. Thus it's name "Primitive." There is no realism in style or pattern but it's got a style all of its own! These rugs fit into an antique decor or a modern decor.

2. Pictorial

Here you will create a landscape picture. Hook sizes and the width of the wool will vary depending on the pattern. The object here is to have your rug hooking look like a picture. The pictorial style makes a great themed rug for an entrance.

3. Geometric

Is also called Abstract and it's another good starter for a beginner. The piece is composed of triangles, circles, squares, and diamonds. The four basic shapes. The width of the wool

and the hook size will depend on the size of your geometric shapes and the size of the rug. Trendy and fun a perfect rug for a relaxed and casual room.

4. Waldoboro

Named after the town of Waldoboro in Maine because this is where a woman first came up with this style of hooking. It's different because the rug is hooked on wool back instead of linen or burlap and the wool is then sculpted to give a dimensional pattern, design, or picture. These are very much a work of art that will fit in any room. Hang it on the wall and place it on the floor.

5. Realistic

The realistic style uses a narrow strip of wool no wider than 1/8". Just as the name says this is suppose to result in a very realistic looking picture. It can be a portrait, a floral, or any other realistic scene. You'll be working with a variety of colors to get the correct shading. When you've perfected this style your rug will come to life! You'll have a portrait that captures your heart or a bouquet you can smell. Definitely the hardest type of rug hooking but also the most rewarding.

Rug hooking is a tradition of time that has been carried forward to our modern world and still enjoyed by many. Rug hooking provides beautiful works of art that make marvelous wall hangings or rugs that make a statement. Now that you know the 5 styles of rug hooking why not give it a try?


John Murray makes it easy to go through the carpet buying process and provides tips to keep your carpet lasting long. To learn more and receive your free mini-course visit the carpet rugs website

About the author:

John Murray is an award winning interior designer, self taught know-it-all and author. He makes the carpet buying process simple and provides all the tricks and tips to keep your carpets lasting longer, quickly & easily.

Written by: John Murray

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