Shabby hooked rugs inspire me, how chic!

I started to collect vintage hooked rugs 10 or so years ago. Unlike many collectors I was not looking for rugs of great value, but what drew me to aquire a rug was purely love. If I loved the colors or the design. And being on a limited budget (ie: I had to have money left to buy wool to hook with) the rugs that I purchased were thrifty finds at yard sales, goodwill stores, and throw aways. As you can imagine, these rugs got to these venues mostly because they were holey, stained, unfinished, or unappealing to the untrained eye. And most of my purchases were in places where the folks were not yet hip to shabby chic. Nowadays all you have to do is start to label something as shabby, and before you finish writing the word chic, it is sold. Have you noticed that?

The most that I have paid for a rug was about $65 as best I can recollect. And the least I have paid was $5. Most fall into the $40 range.

I collect the rugs because so much about them inspires me. I love the way colors fade over time. And it is fun to look at the underside of course to see more of the original colors. I like to emulate this faded-out look as I choose colors for my new vintage rugs.

I also like to examine how the actual hooking looks. Sometimes it can look kind of hodgepodge or sloppy. It can be hard to hook like this if you are used to always being very neat with every loop in a line. It takes practice to go every which way!

I get ideas for designing rugs from studying old rugs. The quaint and quirky compositions is what makes a rug look primitive. Strange and wonderful color combinations from yesteryear are what I want to hook. Those colors give me a feeling. Like actually being transported back in time.One of the hooked rugs shown in this post is not a vintage rug, but one that I have hooked this last year. Can you tell which one it is? I will tell you in the next paragraph.

I always like to guess at the age of the rug, and think that most of these are from the 1950’s. But I have seen rugs that look absolutely new because they were kept in a cedar chest away from temperature extremes, light, and bugs. So it is sometimes difficult to judge their age. And the rug that I created is the forth photo from the top. Did you guess?

Thanks for indulging me ~ Karen


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