Before you begin hooking, machine stitch the burlap about 1" beyond the outside line of your pattern, going across the corners as shown in Figure 1. Use the zig-zag stitch or two rows of regular stitching. This is done to prevent fraying later when the rug is ail finished and the excess burlap is removed. (Do not cut off excess burlap at this time).
All rugs must be bound or faced on the edges because the greatest point of wear on a rug is its edge. A little extra care in this area will pay off in future years.
There are several good ways to bind the edges of your rugs and we will tell you about two of them - one method is done before you begin hooking; the other when you are finished hooking. Either way is good although many people prefer method #2 for several reasons, the main one being that you can put extra rows of hooking beyond the outside line of the pattern if you find you need to.
The tape used for binding is 1-1/4" wide twill tape. Plan to have it match or harmonize with the color of the edge of the rug. Do not use iron-on tape. If you are in doubt as to the exact color you will have on the edge, then use Method #2.
Method #1. To be done before you begin hooking. In this method, the tape should match or harmonize with background color. Lay the tape on the pattern as shown and machine stitch 1/8" in on the tape. Either ease it around corners or cut it off at each corner allowing 1" extra. Then baste it back out of the way. Hook right up against the tape as close as possible and hook at least two rows parallel to it.
When the hooking is completed, the excess burlap is cut just beyond the two rows of machine stitching; both burlap and tape are folded back on an imaginary line 1/4" beyond the last row of hooking and mitered neatly at the corners. Hem by hand using heavy-duty thread. This will leave a quarter-inch "edge" beyond the hooking which is very attractive and practical. (Method #1 is shown in the illustration).
In finishing a circular or oval rug, it is easier to make your own tape by cutting strong cotton on the bias or even using the same wool as was using in hooking the background and cutting it on the bias. Regular twill tape can be used but when it is turned back it is more difficult to hem because little "pleats" will form.
After you have completed hooking and binding your rug, place on old sheet on top of a rug already on the floor ard put your finished hooked rug face down on it (I am assuming your rug is too large for the ironing board). Steam press thoroughly. It may be pressed again lightly on the top side if necessary.
Method #2. To be done when you finish hooking. Hook the background right up to the line on pattern edge, putting at least two rows of hooking parallel to that line.
To match the tape color tc the color of the rug, dye it (using white or a light color tape) when you dye your background wool. It won't match exactly but will blend nicely. Be sure to allow 4" extra per yard for shrinkage.
When you have completed hooking, sew the tape by hand as close to the hooking as possible, using matching heavy-duty thread. Then cut off excess burlap and fold back and hem as in Method #1.
NOTE: The burlap and tape can be folded back all the way so that the tape is hidden from sight if you wish, but I recommend letting 1/4" of it show both for looks and wearability.
Published by W. Cushing & Co.
Kennebunkport, ME 04046 copyright 2002 ~ all rights reserved