Hooked Rug, T84.0117
Posted: Jan 8th, 2020 | Collection Spotlight

Our Object of the Week is a hooked rug made in Newfoundland that features a map of Newfoundland and a small portion of Labrador.

This rug is actually currently on display at The Rooms in – you guessed it! -Newfoundland as part of the Textile Museum’s touring exhibition Home Economics: 150 Years of Canadian Hooked Rugs.

This type of rug is known as a Grenfell hooked rug because of its association with the Grenfell Mission. The Mission started in the late 1800s to provide medical services in remote areas of Newfoundland and Labrador; by the early 1900s, its programs had expanded to include a commercial handicraft industry. Called ‘the Industrial,’ the initiative created alternative sources of income through the sale of locally made handicrafts at North American retail shops.

Though high quality hooked rugs were being made in Newfoundland and Labrador long before, the Industrial changed the aesthetic of local rugs by giving out kits containing pre-dyed material and burlap with pre-drawn designs. This is an example of a popular Grenfell rug design hooked with silk stockings; its fine quality and large size (107 x 79 cm) make it a special piece in our collection.

Links: See this hooked rug in our online collection; link to the exhibition page for Home Economics: 150 Years of Canadian Hooked Rugs; check out Paula Laverty’s writing on Grenfell hooked rugs in Silk Stocking Mats; in addition to Home Economics, the Rooms is currently (September 23, 2017 – January 7, 2018) showing contemporary textiles in the exhibition A Going Concern: Contemporary Textiles and Everyday Politics in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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