Monday, February 17, 2014

Alternative Binding Prep

After a Follower read my previous posts about binding a rug I was asked a very relative question.... What does a newbie hooker or person who doesn't have a sewing machine do to protect the raw edges of the backing foundation before binding?

There are two ideas; one I like better than the other. 

My first choice is cutting the foundation away at least 1 1/2" away from the last row of hooking.  Then fold UNDER the backing and do a 'running stitch' along the edge.  For the purpose of the photo here I've shown it using heavy black crochet thread.  Then at least once it is turned under and COVERED using a cotton binding OR rolled and bound using wool strips or wool yarn binding. 

If you are choosing to whip the edge with wool yarn or wool strips then you would want to fold the edge toward the rug as you normally roll the backing forward when whipping.  Therefore if you are covering it with a cotton binding tape then fold it under as I have shown here.
The other way is not something I would recommend for hooking foundation ~ that would be to use a product known as "Fray Check".  It is a FANTASTIC product when used on sewing fabric and I've relied on it a lot when making delicate doll fingers AND, it works.  But since hooking foundation is a looser weave there's really no way it can preserve the backing's integrity.  Eventually with movement those fibers will loosen, weaken, and destroy the heirloom you worked so hard to make.   
I'm an advocate of Fray Check and use it, but it is not a desirable alternative to sewing the edges of your foundation before binding.  If you don't want to do the hand sewing then perhaps you have a friend who sews or has a machine.  All I can say is that I have seen the results of precious rugs which were not protected properly.  And I'm not speaking of 100 year old rugs but a rug gifted to me by a lovely hooker friend. 

BTW, my Magdalena Lollipop was just the 'model' for this photo shoot.  It has been properly bound and I just used previously cut excess linen foundation for the purpose of the photos.

Happy Monday everyone.  Please remember to be kind to one another.



  1. Hookers both new and old can learn so much from you. Thank you for always sharing your knowledge.
    It's snowing yet again...sigh.
    Hugs :)


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