A showcase of prodded rugs

I love prodded rugs and found several vintage examples to display today. I came across the collection from the Textile Museum Of Canada’s website, where you can view many lovely examples of hooked, prodded, and other types of textiles and antiques.

These first two examples are stunning in their simplicity. The magic of prodded rugs is in their bold strokes. To give you a general idea of the technique, your wool is cut into 1/2″ or wider strips that vary in length according to the desired length of pile. So, if you want a 2″ pile, you would cut your strips about 4″ long or so. You prod your strips, or pull each one thru a loose backing, into organized rows. But after you have created this organization, it is up to the mind of the strip as to which way it flops! So, you have to plan this movement of the strip into your design, and make the elements of your design very bold so that they will be readable.

The first rug achieves its look by a meander of color choices. It starts in the center with the gray mixed with a few bold reds, and then moves outward with dark gray and pink, and then another row of a different gray. So quiet and balanced.

I love this second rug. It has made the most out of a selection of 5 or so colors. The center is done multi, and the outer border is geometric. Simple, yet so eye-catching.

The above rug and its diamond shape has been repeated, outlined with red. Another masterful touch of color with the rest being neutrals. Sometimes it is hard to keep things simple. We think we need lots of color or lots of things happening. But we don’t always, do we?

Here is another diamond done with completely different effect! This one is just a piece of homeyness with the pink-bisque and beige, however it doesn’t simply stay in the pastels but dips down into very dark shades which ground the design. I have so many favorites in this collection, I can’t say which one I like the best!

This multi has such an appeal. Of the prodded rugs that I have created, this is the style that I have used. You can prod with a selective palette of colors to get many different effects.

Lastly, a big charming flower prodded with only one color, red, and the rest neutral. Well, I take that back. The flower is probably a very soft yellow. This happy rug is a great example of how you can hook stylized elements, such as a flower, and still have it be readable.

Which rug is your favorite?

Thanks for stopping by ~ Karen

For general directions on  how to prod and how to make a prodded fringe edge for pillows click HERE for my Flickr page tutorial.


14 thoughts on “A showcase of prodded rugs

  1. What beautiful rugs you are showing us today! I am in love with the colors and design in the 1st rug and the 4th rug. I have done just a little proddy, but this post has put a proddy rug on my to do list.
    Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!


  2. I finished a proddy rug this year using up some of the samples that come in the mail, selvedge edges and wool that is too thin or thick to use in my hooked rugs. I did it in a floor frame that I have used to quilt small quilts and that worked very well. There was no plan, just use up the leftovers so there is a lot of color mixed in with the darks. It’s great to step out onto on a cold morning.


  3. I started a proddy rug years ago but never finished it. What kind of backing do you think they used in the antique proddy rugs…burlap? I love the last one the best…the sunflower or star rug. The colors are perfect.


  4. Hi Karen, I have never done a proddy rug before (just fringe). These rugs are fantastic and I’m ready to give it a try! What do you recommend for instructions?


  5. Just came across your blog….I’ve been a fan of your work for years, and my gosh, this blog is sooo inspiring!!! such eye candy!!
    Andrea Lawlor
    It’s All About the Wool
    Patchogue NY


  6. These are beautiful rugs! Nice reminder for me because I have wanted to try this and completely forgot….. sometimes I prod onto my rug for the texture element, but an entire rug would be a wonderful challenge. My 2 favorites are the first (looks like a garden to me) and the last one… but all are lovely!


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