Designing Patterns for Punched Rugs

As I wrote in an earlier post, thanks to a mini workshop I took from Wooly Walkers at the June 2016 Black Sheep Gathering, I have added rug punching to my fiber arts.  After making smaller projects, I want to to design and punch a rug for our new house.  My research into punch and hooked rugs patterns has revealed that American folk art – decorative and whimsical – seems most popular.  I, however, have never been fond of American folk art so I wasn’t sure how I would proceed.

RugDesignHRecently Thor and I were browsing the aisles of a large bookstore, and my attention was caught by this 1,000 piece puzzle titled, “Hoffman House Rug Design.”  In 1957  Franklin Lloyd Wright designed this rug for the home of one of his clients, Max Hoffman. (For some reason, the rug never made it to Hoffman’s House.  It found a home in Wright’s own house, Taliesin, in Wisconsin.)

Admitting that my eye for rug patterns was drawn to designs influenced by the art and designs of Piet Mondrian and, especially, Franklin Lloyd Wright, I started looking at images on the web for ideas.  Here are some nice ones:

Then Thor and I started drawing.  Here are some drafts:

We’ve moved on to experimenting with colors.  Here are a few drafts:

It’s taking a while, but we’re getting closer.  As these pictures reveal, our designs are not even close to American folk art – which is lovely, but just not us.

Do you make rugs and, if so, what kinds of designs do you like to incorporate in your rugs?



About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
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17 Responses to Designing Patterns for Punched Rugs

  1. And a wonderful habit for us to imitate: re-purposing materials in an artful and useful manner!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. artandicon says:

    Rug hooking was an historic way to recycle used fabric. My grandmother made rugs for her home from winter suits granddad no longer found useful.


  3. Oh, I’m sure it’s not THAT tricky … as long as your measurements are accurate! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Aoife says:

    I haven’t even thought about curtains yet! I might just go with blinds and/or see if I can get my mother-in-law to make us stuff. Might be tricky from half a country away, tho.


  5. Errata … I was thinking of Mondrian! Okay, now I have to go through some Klimt designs and see what I can borrow. 🙂


  6. Yes, I like Klimt designs and thought about borrowing from him. His designs, however, seem to use a lot of white and I didn’t want to warn guests from walking on the rugs. 🙂


  7. Hardwood floors just seem to call out for handmade wool rugs, don’t they? We’re putting triple celled light-filtering shades in each window, so that gives me time to see what drapes I will weave for each window and room.


  8. I agree … hand made items made with thought and care are destined to be cherished and passed through the generations!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Right now I’m still in the drawing-coloring stage of things … but I have rug wool ready to go as soon as I am!


  10. I like those stained-glass designs (thank you, Thor), too. I’ll probably go with a less “impressive” 🙂 design just for the ease … it’ll be a fair sized rug after all!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Me too … we haven’t yet settled on a design/pattern, though I’ve got a bunch of rug wool a-waiting! 🙂


  12. 1marylou says:

    Wonderful post! Interesting examples and intriguing designs by you and your husband. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


  13. The Greyt Knitter says:

    Wow! Beautiful! I am not a folk art fan either. The designs you picked are like stained glass which I love and also do some. Can’t wait to see the completed project!


  14. Susan McKee-Nugent says:

    The last rug shown on the left caught my eye……Charles Rennie McIntosh it called out to me. i do not like modern but I DO like his desighn!! The first of yours, upper right, also is very attractive! You will find what works. Happy hunting/drawing/colouring!!


  15. [J+D] We remember doing something like this for our first home together, back in the late 1970s – just after we were married. It moved with us to many subsequent homes, and some years ago moved again, this time to the first home of one our daughters, and it has moved a couple of times since. Something made by hand and with thought and care becomes part of the family story!


  16. Aoife says:

    Ooohhh, this is such a cool idea! I think the top left of your colored-in sketches is my favorite.

    My grandmother taught me how to latch hook when I was a kid, but I haven’t thought about it in years. We’re just starting to think about what to do with the floors in our house and this might have to go on the possibilities list.


  17. Stephanie Libbon says:

    You designs made me think of some of the Klimt rugs that are out there. I especially liked the first colored sketch you displayed.



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