Locker Hook Experiments

November 10, 2011

Through a curious sequence of events a nominal weaver may find herself in possession of a locker hook.  Locker hooking is a technique for making stable looped pile rugs.  Unlike regular rug-hooking, which results in rugs held together merely by the friction of the wool poking through the ground cloth (rugs that can be unraveled by pulling really hard on a single loop; I scorn them!), locker hooking locks loops in place by sewing through them after they are fetched up through the cloth.

Why am I doing this? It’s complicated.  How am I doing this?  The hard way, as usual.  Instead of using pre-made mesh rug canvas, I have been making my own by drawing every third thread from pieces of burlap.  Instead of rags or bulky roving, I have been working with vintage tapestry yarn too skinny for the resulting mesh.  Working in a spiral instead of back and forth, etc., etc.

Here are my first washed samples.  The rectangle taught me I have to bind the edges of the burlap before I do my drawn-work.  Folding it over and whip stitching it isn’t enough, it unravels during washing.

The coaster is what taught me you can’t find the center of a drawn-work burlap circle just by measuring it; the mesh isn’t arithmetical–this is why the central circle of the coaster is off center and I had to make it into a sort of a blobby flower by adding those blobby leaves to fill up the lopsided space.  Oh, and the coaster taught me that the (dark green sock) stitching yarn has to match the (light tan tapestry) yarn because it won’t be fully hidden by the loops.

Both samples reminded me that I am sort of allergic to jute.  I now know keep a hanky handy when I am concentrating over allergenic work or my nose will actually drip on it.

Nothing daunted, here’s what I started next.  Atchoo!

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4 Responses to “Locker Hook Experiments”


  1. This looks like such a lot of fun. By mysterious chance, I also have a locker hook — you didn’t show a picture of yours! I found mine tagging along a craigslist buy of assorted wool weaving yarns almost three years ago. It will take more happenstance to find it again; I have no idea what has become of it!

  2. Louisa Says:

    I have a locker hook somewhere in the studio – but I’ve never used it! Interesting samples you’ve made. Might inspire me yet. And I also have a problem with jute the way you do. I did my first rug hooking on it but now I use linen instead. More expensive but no sniffles. Rug canvas is ok too.


  3. [...] But early this spring I bought some real locker-hook canvas–as opposed to my allergenic home-made version–because I had some large projects in mind. It is a stiff 50% cotton, 50% polyester blend [...]


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