How to Rug Punch/Hook

Introduction: How to Rug Punch/Hook

Back in the days of early America, carpeting and fancy rugs were new! Very popular!  And very expensive. Thus, the poor man got innovative! This traditional technique is super simple and is a good stash-buster for all your old yarn or scraps of fabric.

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Step 1: Materials

You will need:

- A crochet hook or rug punch tool. Both of these things can be found in the yarn/embroidery section of most craft stores.

-Yarn or strips of fabric. Almost ANYTHING can be used, and you can really change the texture of your rug by what you choose.

-A big piece of burlap, monk's cloth, or woven cotton fabric to punch your loops through. It HAS to be a material that shrinks when ironed/steamed, otherwise your loops will not be held in place and the rug will fall apart easily.

Step 2: Punching! (Or Hooking)

Thread your rug-punch tool... and punch! Pull your tool out carefully, so as not to tug out the loop you just made... and punch another! Keep punching until you've completed your design. Alternatively, put your crochet hook through the fabric and pull up loops over and over.

Again, your choice of textile will greatly influence the texture of your rug, as will loop length. Using yarn (I prefer to use two strands at once), short loops will make a carpety texture, whereas long loops make a nice shag carpet feel.

*My pictures here use latch-hook canvas to better show the stitches, but it is not an ideal fabric to punch through. See finishing page.

Step 3: Finishing

To finish, steam iron the backside/not loopy side of your rug. The cotton fabric will shrink and lock your stitches into place. You can also use paint-on latex rug backing to further ensure this locking and to make your rug skid-proof. This is often found by the yarn/latch-hook section of most craft stores.

You can make ANY design with ANY fabric... there are endless possibilites! The example pictured here is 20x30" and looks like a shield from the video game Zelda.

*Latch-hook canvas does not shrink, and is thus not ideal. If you'd prefer to have a grid (to do a pixelated design, for example) you can use latex rug backing or some other glue to lock your stitches in place. Be careful, though! I would not vacuum this rug for fear of pulling out stitches. 

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    3 Discussions

    That is so cool! Is this technique the same as latch hook? I haven't done it in so long, I'm not sure what it looks like anymore!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It's very similar. In latch-hook you cut a bunch of small pieces of yarn, pull up a loop, and pull the two ends through to make a slip stitch knot. This makes a fringe kind of fabric, all the cut ends facing up. Rug-punching is one continuous strand of yarn, and makes a bunch of loops on the top.

    Most commercial carpets are made this way-- an electric powered punch punches long loops, the back is sealed, and then you shear down the loops to the length you want.