Punch hooking my latest rug

I am continuing my rug hooking project and a few of you had questions on my hooking technique and frame. For this rug I am punch hooking using a Rugcrafter’s Tufting Tool. I am using long strips of wool in a 7 cut (a scant 1/4″ wide). The linen backing is stretched on a frame that has carpet tack strips instead of gripper strips. These are dangerously sharp, so after the backing is in place they are carefully covered with a double thickness of wool. My frame is sitting on saw horses.

The tufting tool was created to use with rug yarn, but I find that I can hook with wool strips if they are cut thin enough to pass through the tip. I like to punch hook as a change of pace from traditional rug hooking. I like standing as I work, and appreciate using a different set of muscles to give my hands a break.

There is a rhythmic motion to the tufting process, as the tool glides over the backing. It takes some practice to get the knack of walking the tufting tool without pushing the tool down or pushing it ahead.

With punch hooking you work from the back of the rug. All the ends are pushed to the front. Here I am using my scissors to push the ends through. Here is a good view of the tufting tool. Recognize it? You have probably seen one before at the thrift store.

Flip the frame over to the finished side so that you can trim the ends. This is a quick overview of the tufting technique. In a later post I will go into more detail.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Karen


14 thoughts on “Punch hooking my latest rug

  1. I have an old wooden one but have never tried using it. A friend once gave me an electric one. It looked like a little jig saw.Her mother made rugs for many people in the Snoqualmie Valley besides her own family… no wonder, as she could be Speedy Gonzales with that little contraption! They were done in yarn and I was new to hooking; didn’t think of using wool strips so returned it to her… With the strips do you just keep threading new ones? By the way, very pretty colors in that secret rug. 🙂


    • the wooden one may work differently. and every tufting tool has to be checked because sometimes they are bent or rusty.

      yes, you keep feeding the strips through, which is why it is important to use mostly extra long strips. I have not cut my wool into fat quarters just for this reason. instead i am cutting the whole width of the wool which is about 56″ long.

      i am loving these color together, thanks for commenting on them, lisa.


  2. loving the piece.can the tool be used on the rubber meshed like tapestry canvas because would love to own one if it works such material.good work


  3. Pingback: Punch hooking a rose rug | primitivespirit

  4. Wow you are such an inspiration! I am now retired and want to spend more time creating, and like you, I love wool and all natural fibers. Somewhere on your site I saw a fabric cutting machine and want to invest in one. I’ve tried the cheap hand held ones and they literally don’t cut it! What would you recommend for a small budget and the best one in case I win the lottery!

    From another Karen who grew up in surrounded by fields full off sheep in Lancashire, England.


    • no seal needed. in fact, the material that they used to use for sealing actually made the rugs disintegrate. hooked rugs do not need anything other than their fellow loops to hold all together. finish the edges is all.


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