Having made or bought a good design for the hooked rug, it should be transferred to the burlap by means of a stencil. Lay the burlap as smoothly as possible upon a table, and place the stencil on it so that the edge will follow the straight line thread of the burlap. Secure it firmly to the table by means of thumb tacks. Liquid blueing may be applied to the burlap through the stencil with a round stencil-brush or a nail-brush.
It is not necessary to indicate all the colours which will eventually appear in the rug. At least 4 inches must be allowed outside the design when stamped, in order that it may be put into the frame. This extra burlap is afterwards folded and turned under when the rug is finished, and sewn in a neat hem on the under side.
Having placed the burlap firmly and neatly in the frame, the hooking of the flannel is the next process. Take the end of the strip of cloth with the left hand, holding it between the thumb and first finger. Hold the end close to the burlap under the frame where the work is to be started, usually at the right hand lower corner. Take the hook in the right hand, push it through the burlap, and catch the end of the strip, bringing it through the burlap about three-eighths of an inch. Then push the hook through about two threads and bring up a loop of equal length, continuing to bring up loops until the strip is all used. The end of it must be brought up to the surface of the rug. A most important point to remember is that the flannel on the under side must be kept close to the burlap and have no loops at all. It will be seen by these directions how extremely simple the process of rug-hooking actually is, and yet there are few crafts where greater differences can be seen in the workmanship than in pulled rugs.
There is quite a knack in pulling the loops up so as not to catch the burlap with the hook. One short quick movement of the whole arm, not of the hand, is required. This movement is upward and slightly backward. The loops need not of necessity be of equal height, in that they are more artistic if slightly uneven. When the rug is completed the high ones are clipped and the short ones left between. The clipped pieces vary-slightly, giving a soft velvety surface infinitely superior to the old-fashioned hooked rugs, which had straight rows of loops all of uniform height.
Care must be taken to bring the loops up at different angles, but avoid symmetry. It is best for a beginner to work from right to left, but a good craftsman finally gains complete mastery over materials, and can work rapidly up or down, or from left to right.
As each frameful is filled and clipped, the burlap is moved, keeping the edges true and the corners square until the whole rug is finished. If a large rug is made, work the centre first, and then the border.
It is always difficult to determine how much material to prepare, as this is varied by the height of the pile. A good Abnakee rug takes one yard and a half of flannel for each square foot of rug.
It is impossible to say definitely how long the work takes to do, as one woman can do twice as much as another in the same length of time. A skilled worker can make a rug 4 feet by 8 feet in fifty-four hours, and as the market price of such a rug is from $45.00 to $50.00, it can be seen that the making of pulled rugs is a profitable employment. The usual price for these rugs is $1.25 a square foot, but the more elaborate patterns command a higher price. When the colouring, design, and workmanship are all good, these rugs find a ready sale when sold through the Women's Exchange or Arts and Crafts Salerooms now so plentiful.