a few of the completed challenge pieces done by the Martintown hookers – a free pattern in RHM…Shirley Lyons, a rughooker with many years of experience behind her, gave me some good tips recently about repairing rugs and keeping those burlap patterns fresh and pliable. I asked if she would mind if I shared her comments with you as it may help many of us who have vintage rugs and vintage patterns (or even newer patterns on burlap) and she kindly said YES so here goes:
“One of the first things I do before I attempt to pull out loops is spray the
back of the rugs with water. Maybe several times and let it dry naturally.
My reason, the burlap becomes brittle and by putting some moisture on the
area that is falling apart it helps.
Also I had a collection of old patterns that I have since sold, but I would spray
them or let them stay outside in the summer and fall evenings to collect moisture
from the air. Burlap has been given a bad name, but it is because it wasn’t treated
properly. The last rugs I repaired were all vacuum cleaner edge problems.
However, some I have repaired need a new backing of primitive burlap sewn
to the back and then hooked through . I found I would repair one spot with
a patch and another area would break out. By completely putting new burlap
on the back it solved the problem. It has to be basted through in about 6 inch squares.
Did you know the rug you repaired, oval in a rectangle with yellow is a beginner
Rittermere rug called “Rowena” I taught it many times and Mrs. Rittenhouse hooked
it very modern looking back in the early 70’s.”