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How to Critique Your Rug

Ask the Experts

Persian Tree of Life, 31" x 39", #3-cut wool on burlap.  Pattern by New Earth Designs; hooked by Jane Halliwell Green, Edgewater, Maryland, 1989.

Self-evaluation is a difficult task in life no matter what we need to evaluate. Our rugs are no exception. Because of the many hours we spend creating them, they become personal expressions of ourselves and our feelings. For this reason, critiquing our fiber art is daunting, and many of us avoid the task.

You can get past this block. One of the easiest ways to begin is by quietly critiquing other people's works at rug shows or by viewing photographs of other's rugs. Practice will give you confidence: once you have evaluated 100 rugs and wall hangings using the simple guidelines presented here, you'll be able to size up your own hooked pieces. Not only will you be clear about the problems you see in a finished rug, but you will also learn to avoid them before you even pick up a hook. Your rugs will improve dramatically. 

Ask yourself the following questions as you critique a rug—regardless of whether it is someone else's rug or your own work.

This article is from the June/July/August 2011 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.

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