Hooked Rug, T78.0006b
Posted: Jan 8th, 2020 | Featured Objects

It’s April and Spring is finally here! To celebrate Spring and warmer weather, this hooked rug from the Grenfell Mission is the Object of the Moment.

Canada geese start migrating North to their breeding grounds as Spring arrives. The familiar “V” shaped formation and the honking of the geese is an indication of Spring. Amongst other objects of everyday life, the depiction of geese has also been a popular theme of hooked rugs. Rug hooking is a unique North American tradition that arose in response to the need to cover the cold bare floors of pioneer homes. Weaving cloth required long hours at the spinning wheel and loom, but rugs could be made from scraps of fabrics and fibres that were pulled through a burlap base to produce warm floor-coverings to brighten the home. It is rare to find a hooked rug whose maker is known; unlike quilts, which were treasured family possessions, hooked rugs wore out and their history was often lost.

The most distinctive of Canadian hooked rugs are those from the Grenfell Missions in Newfoundland and Labrador. In the early 20th century, the Mission distributed rug kits with designs of local interest such as fish, sailing ships, icebergs, sea gulls, puffins and dog teams to the women of the coastal areas. During the quiet months of February and March (the off months for fishing), women hooked rugs in their homes. The money earned from the sale of these rugs helped augment meagre incomes earned from fishing.

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