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North American Orientals: Part Four

Focusing on Technique

By: Sandra Brown; Teachers who helped with this article: Joyce Krueger, Diane Stoffel, and Anne Boissinot

Oriental Play, 55" x 24". Designed and hooked by Judy Quintman, Wilmington, North Carolina, 2012.

Since North American Orientals were meant to mimic true Middle Eastern Orientals as much as possible, some recommend hooking strictly on the horizonta—meaning all loops would stand up in the same horizontal position, including the outline of motifs. Few rug hookers would attempt this today, letting the general contours of the motifs set the direction of the hooking instead. However, it is always good practice to hold the hook perpendicular to the wool loop so that maximum control over the direction of that loop is maintained. The tighter the backing is woven, the more control you have over direction of the loops. 

Since the overall format is still horizontal hooking, make sure the fields are the same on both the right and left sides of large motifs, especially around the center medallion. Caution: If the wool used happens to be a soft spot-dye with large areas of different values and the hooker completes one whole side of the inner field with that wool, the opposite side may be a completely different tone even if you use the same wool. Remember that changes in value, even slight changes in color, are fine from top to bottom of the rug (vertically) since they mimic the “abrash” effect one finds in true Orientals. But side-to-side across the rug, the wools should be as nearly the same as possible, replicating the loomed and woven effect of true Middle Eastern rugs.


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