Sunday, March 27, 2011

Repairing an Antique Rug

This beautiful antique rug belongs to a friend of a fellow hooker of mine. It needed repair and I was asked if I could repair the hole and bind the sides like the top and bottom were bound. I have never done a repair before and it made me terribly nervous to even consider it. I read several articles from Rug Hooking Magazine, one of them found in September/ October 2004 and then got the courage to tackle it.

Accessing the damage front and back . . . (please click on the pictures to see larger pictures)

The rug was hooked on burlap with different fabrics, not wool. I needed to remove some of the hooking far enough to find some good burlap to attach a new piece. The fabric that I took out was difficult to remove and it fell apart as I removed it making me even more nervous.

The piece I attached was Scottish burlap, surged on one side. It goes about two inches below the removed hooked part as you will see on the back side.

One row hooked to secure the piece. You can see my basting stitches. I used #8 wool strips as close to the background colors that I could find.

After the hooking was complete, I trimmed the excess (new) burlap and I turned back the surged edge twice then secured the edge by whipping.

The top and the bottom of the rug had been bound with binding tape that showed on the top side about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. It was faded so using new binding tape would show too much. I took new binding tape and boiled out as much black as I could using a little dishwasher detergent in the water. It took about 6 times of boiling before it stopped bleeding.

The white line on the tape shows me where to sew to make the edge as even as I could. The tape was then flipped over and sewn to the back. Below are the remains of the hooking that I took out. Not much was left and very tedious to remove. The rug was worn and needed a good cleaning . . . by an expert cleaner who knows antique rugs!

Finished back repair.

Now that it is all over and done, I feel so relieved!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Uncle Sam and 'repositioning' . . .

This is "Uncle Sam". I found him in the January/February 2010 Rug Hooking Magazine (volume XXI, Number 4). It is by Sally Kallin of Pine Island Primitives. He was fabulous to hook and I enjoyed hooking him up. I will probably hang him on a wall since he is so tall and skinny (15 x 44 inches).

If you choose to hook a pattern from rug hooking magazine, the instructions are always very thorough with colors of wool used and enlargement of pattern per cents provided. The place you choose to enlarge the pattern will help you to figure out the percent of enlargement when it is not easy to understand. I enlarged my Uncle Sam by 200% (just a little larger), but had I enlarged the pattern like the directions stated, it would have been easier to hook the flag and other details since Sally designed it for a #8 cut. My flag is a little fatter in places than hers. Live and learn! However, I wanted him a little larger.

"Measure" and draw the rectangle first. The lines of the border need to be straight on the grain, so do not try to draw the straight lines from the pattern. The rest of the design can be drawn from the pattern itself. I use red dot when transferring a pattern onto linen. I do not have a light table and my space is limited, so I use my kitchen counter top, lay the pattern down, put the red dot on top of the pattern and trace it. Then I place the red dot on the linen and re-trace the pattern, checking to make sure that the permanent marker is going through to the linen. If I need to, I go back over the markings on the linen to make them show up better.

If you do not know what red dot is, here is an example. I free-handed drawing my initials and date on the linen and got the date noticeably off. Here is how I corrected it.

Now go over the orange marking with the pen to 're-draw' the date on the linen.

Happy Hooking everyone!