The Temecula Valley Museum presents The Art of Rug Hooking, an exhibit produced by the museum in cooperation with North County Wool Gatherers, a rug hooking artist group based in Fallbrook, California. This beautiful, unique exhibit created by local artists will be on display from February 25 through April 3, 2022.
Modern Rug Hooking has its roots in Yorkshire, England, during the early part of the 19th century. Workers in weaving mills were allowed to collect leftover pieces of yarn that were useless to the mill. The weavers took them home and pulled the scraps through a backing to create their own rugs and artwork. Recent research suggests, however, that the practice of pulling wool or yarn through a base fabric was used by the Vikings, who likely brought it to Scotland and France.
In its earliest years, rug hooking was a craft of poverty. The vogue for floor coverings in the United States came about after 1830, when factories produced machine-made carpets for the rich. Poor women began looking through their scrap bags for materials to employ in creating their own home-made floor coverings. Women employed whatever materials they had available, often recycling worn clothing. It was considered a country craft in the days when the word country, used in this context, was derogatory.
In recent decades rug hookers have followed quilters in exploring new materials and new techniques. This experimentation, combined with knowledge and respect for the past, is allowing the artform to evolve and grow in the 21st century. Now, there are countless annual exhibitions around the world displaying rug hooking, and many art enthusiasts are exploring the unique textural nature of the medium. Today, rug hooking is sometimes referred to in many places as a fine art.
Visit the Temecula Valley Museum to see why this compelling and highly tactile artform is gaining in popularity. The Temecula Valley Museum is located at Sam Hicks Monument Park in Old Town Temecula (28314 Mercedes Street) and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information and other fun online activities, please visit TemeculaValleyMuseum.org, or call (951) 694-6450.