Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Types of Rug Binding

Just another minor detour from my hooked items theme.  There have been two recent inquires from two different folks wanting more information about binding rugs.

Although I've posted binding information several times on the blog before, newly joined folks may not have seen them.  THERE IS a way to do a 'search' on my blog using key words to find what you want.  At the top left on my blog is a white block where I just typed in "binding a rug" and this is the information which popped up:

Yet, wanting to please my readership (lost one today...wonder why?) thought I'd show you different ways I've bound rugs.  In the beginning I used only the 1 1/4" binding tape.  I was taught to do a row of straight stitching 1/4" away from the last row of hooking and then 1" away from that do two rows of straight stitching 1/4" apart with a row of zig zag stitching connecting the two.  Then you could trim the foundation knowing it is protected from raveling.  When the binding tape is attached it protects the foundation from further harm.
At rug camps I learned other ways to bind using complimentary wool. The colors of this wool on the lion below goes well with the inside colors.  It was cut on the bias, covered a cord and sewn down the appropriate length to cover the edge of the rug.
This is what the back looks like.  I felt the edge of the bias wool needed protection so did a zig zag to prevent it from raveling.  
Also have done several rugs using a wool whipped edge.  Most recent was the Magdalena Goat.  The formula for 'how much yarn' is that it takes 12" of yarn to whip 1".  Bless Kris Miller of Spruce Ridge Studios  for reminding me when I had a brain fart once.  
Now another question rises to the top, right?  You're wondering if you need to use binding tape if you whip.  Some people do but it isn't necessary.  The object of binding tape is to protect the foundation and whipping the edge does that.  The Magdalena Goat it is crisp, clean and no loose edges of foundation to be seen so did not use binding tape.  

I have also used cotton fabric in wide widths such as this.  I felt that the stripe would lend itself to a complimentary look if an edge were to show.  The Cherries and Candy Stripe piece is for my harvest table and not the floor so wouldn't see traffic.
Another binding technique was used on the Chicken Challenge rug below.  It was taught by Betsy Reed in a class.  If you would like to see it demonstrated on a previous blog post you can see it HERE.
NOW speaking of the traffic ~ this is the rug which was at my front door for 14 years.  Below is the back side and was also a wool covered cord with the self-binding a the back.  The wool was the same Dorr #44 used for the background.  This wool was cut straight of grain rather than bias.  Note the more squared corners than in the bias border previously. 
Below you can see how the walking of 14 years at the front door wore down the wool. The foundation is still perfectly fine and glad I pulled it off the floor when I did.  Plans are now to repair the edge with wool whipping around the cord all the way around.  I won't put it back at the front door again but it is too special to me to let it fade away.  This was my precious first hooking project and want to preserve it for my family.
There are additional binding techniques which I have not tried ~ one is the crochet edge and the other is with a braided edge.

Several booklets are available to teach about binding and other basics but I can give you two sources.  One is called Finishing Hooked Rugs ~ a publication from Rug Hooking Magazine.
Another is by Kris Miller which also gives basics of rug hooking.
Have a great evening everyone; for those of you who 'may' be looking forward to more of my hooked rugs perhaps I'll begin again tomorrow.



  1. I love your blog and all you do for us out here in cyberspace.

  2. With all the ways to bind, you'd think we could find one we enjoyed doing...lol!
    Hugs :)

  3. I agree with Lauren. Thanks Saundra.
    Smiles & hugs

  4. I was taught a completely different way. but it all gets the job done.
    I have done several different ways. I have a hooked rug at my front door but you are coming off a porch before you get to it and we do not use that way in the winter.

  5. I do mine a different way too...think I misunderstood when first learning...but it works for me...I'm going to try different ways on the smaller rugs I make, not all need a whipped edge...unless they are for my NC sister...she insists on it...thanks for the great post!

  6. Your blog is so good! You really are a master rug hooker. It is amazing to watch your work. You are such a talent , hugs cheri

  7. Sending a big 'thank you' for all the information your blog provides. Love seeing your projects...... Thanks again for sharing.


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