Saturday, December 6, 2014

Anatomy of an Antique Rug

Personally, I've only had the opportunity to get close and personal with very few antique rugs.  One was at Woolley Fox when Barb let us touch and closely view the rug which inspired her adaptation of Cora and Bently.  No, there are no pictures to show you of that experience as she asked us not to photograph it since we were seeing it before her article appeared in the Christmas 2013 issue of Early American Life magazine.  That back issue is still available if you wanted to purchase it.

This is a picture of one of the antique rugs I posted on my blog recently.  It is thought to be from the late 19th century and the original measured 30" x 57".  I plan to do an adaptation of it and am naming it Cherries and Candy Stripe.  I'm hooking mine not as a floor runner but a nice table runner for my harvest table and it will measure 14" x 35". 
Below shows the most damaged edge and for the life of me can't figure out if it is hooked with wool, nylons, cotton or what.  But we know that most any textile was used to hook a rug and still is to this day.  In the picture you can see how faded out the top is compared to the part of the textile which was folded and hidden from wear and sun exposure.
This is a picture of the colors of background wool that I find very endearing ~ that mottled blotcy background.  Whether it was originally the same close color but some areas faded more than others or if the person used what they had as it seemed close enough in color at the time. 
In this enlarged picture of the corner of the rug you can see the changes in the colors of in the stripes to either repair it or using what she had to fill in.  And it almost looks like it could have been hooked with nylons.  Maybe it will enlarge if you double click the picture.
Finally, this is part of the back of the rug.  I'm sorta guessing it was a punched rug and not a traditional hooked rug.  Any of you aficionados want to inform me with your expertise?
Have a great Saturday evening everyone and this is a teaser on my journey hooking an adaptation of this rug.  Not yet tho, I'm still working on Magdalena's Olde Ducks.


  1. That is a wonderful rug and a nice one to adapt for a christmas runner, will look beautiful on your table.


  2. It'll look wonderful as a runner!

  3. I enjoyed listening to your thoughts on this rug.

  4. I have some old rugs that have that used worn edges. I got them from my mother in law. Some have dye that's run on parts of the rug . It's sad to see the damage just from age. Cheri

  5. Cheri, it is a shame. That is why we need to hook on a good foundation, make sure our wool is color fast by using a mordant and properly secure our edges of the foundation to prevent raveling.

    Thanks to all who post comments.



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