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Fine shading has more to do with the use of many closely related values – from a very pale version to a dark version – of the same hue. Using 6 or 8  (or more!) different values, a rug hooking artist is able to create the appearance of shadows and shading that makes things look three-dimensional.  Some artists create an almost photographic representation of the subject matter.

Traditionally, fine shading is associated with using narrow cuts – 1/8th inch (“4 cut”) or narrower – but modern artists can accomplish “contour shading” in the larger cuts.  Contour shading is a method of rug hooking used to create depth and motion. The fiber artist follows the contours of a motif to show where light will fall to help illuminate it. Several values of one color are used  to help create this effect. This method can give a three- dimensional effect to a piece in spite of the limitations  of wool strips and the rug hooking technique.  In the wider cuts fewer different values might be used 

Check out the details of these rugs to see the color variations that make these work.