Related fiber arts include braiding, felting, embroidery and beading, quilting and painting. Another related fiber art is wool applique, and some artists incorporate elements of these with traditional rug hooking.
Braiding has long been used to “frame” rug hooking. More recently it has become an integral part of the artwork.
Felting has also been a popular medium to combine with rug hooking, combining two different types of wool fibers.
Some techniques allow the maker to use traditional rug hooking materials in ways that don’t involve loops. Wool strips can be used to make embroidery stitches or wool quilling. Quillies are spirals of cut strips which are sewn to the rug backing. Proddy uses wider pieces of wool pulled through the backing material so that both ends are on the face of the work and these ends stand up above the surface of the rug. They can be shaped like flower petals.
Some special techniques of pulling the loops include “basket stitch” where alternate loops are pulled perpendicular to each other, and “beading” where two strands are carried along, and loops of the two colors alternate in a single row of hooking. “Waldoboro” hooking involves pulling the loops extra high, packing them close together and then cutting them to create raised areas.
Examine the rugs in this collection and see which special techniques and stitches you can find! Hint: 3 of these techniques are in the image in the banner at the top of this page – a detail from Suzanne Flynt’s Flower Basket.