Featured Rug of the Month May 2019
Old Rug before repair 45"x27"
One of the best things about hand-hooked rugs is that they can be repaired. Let's face it, if you put a rug on the floor for many decades, stuff will happen to it. Fortunately, the process to repair a hooked rug is fairly straightforward.
This rug might have been hooked in the 1920's or 1930's, and except for the damage in the center, the rest of the rug is in excellent shape (I like to hope I look that good when I'm 80 years old!). One of the reasons it survived so well is that the edges are bound, which is kind of unusual for old rugs. I suspect that at some point, this rug may have been near a fireplace, and perhaps a few embers popped out and landed in the center, creating small holes.
Over time, it looks like there have been attempts to repair it, but I'm afraid they only made the damage worse. Whenever there is backing fabric in the rug where the cut or damaged edges are exposed, (whether it's burlap, cotton or linen) it will continue to unravel and spread until it is unhooked and securely patched. Properly done, this rug can be repaired and enjoyed on the floor for decades to come.
Do you have a rug you would like to see featured on this website? Email me! If your rug is featured, you will receive your choice of a free half-yard of linen or our recycled cotton totebag, so what are you waiting for? Every rug has a story and we love to hear all about them!
Close up of damaged area before repair as seen from above (left) and from below (right). You can see some of the holes on the top, and a burlap patch that was both sewn into the back, and hooked through.
First I carefully removed the patch, unsewing and unhooking. Once the patch and the rehooking was removed, it was easier to see the holes.
Here you can easily see the holes after removing the patch. I then carefully unpicked the entire hooked center area. Rather than try to match the original yarn and fabric, I opted to rehook the center section with new yarn. But to do that, I needed a solid patch.
After I unpicked the whole center section, I pinned in a patch to the backside of the rug.
I marked where I wanted the edges of my patch to be with a sharpie pen. Ideally, you want the patch to be at least one inch bigger than the damaged area.
I zig-zagged the edge of the patch so it wouldn't unravel during hooking, then trimmed close to the stitching.
I pinned the reinforced patch into the back of the rug.
I hand-sewed the patch to the back of the rug.
From the top, I tacked down any rough edges of the original backing, trimming away any unattatched threads. You can see the hole on the right is being tacked down, the one on the left hasn't gotten tacked or trimmed.
Here is the center section with the patch sewn in and all the rough edges tacked down, ready to rehook (above).
And here's the repaired rug, ready to rock and roll! (right)