Common Hooking Terms

Loops:  The pile on your hooked item is made by the individually pulling of loops of the wool strips up through the backing/foundation.

Worms:  A fun, fancy term for the wool strips use for hooking.

Tails: The ends of your “worm” /wool strip. The first tail gets pulled to the top and left standing up from the foundation, to start the pulling of your loops.  Do not have tails on the underside of a rug (for stuffed pieces that does not matter as much). Pull the final bit of the worm you are hooking with up through the foundation as a tail. Each worm has 2 tails.

Stash:  Your collection of both wool lengths and worms.

Textured: A wool with a design woven in.

Hand Dye:  A plain/neutral wool that has been dyed.

Overdye:  Hand dying a textured or colored wool.

Stripping:  The activity of cutting wool cloth into strips for hooking. This can be done using cutters, or by hand.

Foundation/Backing: Whatever material you are working your hooked item on. Any material with a good weave can be hooked on.

  • Linen:  The foundation many rug hookers prefer for strength and durability
  • Burlap: A little coarser and, over time, more fragile. Many older rugs were worked on burlap.
  • Monk’s Cloth:  A cotton cloth, soft and pliable.

Binding:  The finished edge of a hooked rug. 

“Grain” of the Foundation:  Working along the straight line of your foundation material. This is important for straight line elements and placement of a design, whether free designing on the foundation or transferring a pattern.

Frame:  The equipment you use to hold your foundation tight for easier hooking.

Hook:  The instrument you use to pull your wool loops through your foundation.