In the textile and weaving factories of the early 19th century, there were flickers of creativity that sprouted crafting ideas as a way of using the waste from the mills. The workers of these factories were allowed to take some of the leftover textile materials home. They then would use them to pull the various fibers though a backing; creating what is now called “hooked fabric.” Details of exactly where the technique of hooking fabric truly originated are a little vague but there is also evidence in early Scotland and parts of France. In these countries, instead of cotton materials, rags were actually used and pulled though in the same manner.
From the shores of New England to Newfoundland, there heaved a movement that at first, was only popular amongst peasants and lower class individuals; being a craft associated with poverty. Though eventually the hooking revolution took on a new understanding and transitioned into a craft that created unique, tough and long lasting pieces. Nowadays, we see two forms of hooking styles that typically utilize wool. Fine hooking, which uses a thinner strip of wool, will produce more intricate details. Primitive hooking, using wider strips of wool, accomplishes shading and highlights that are seen in the more visible textures of the wool. Most of the hooking today is done with a solid backing, in order to keep it from pulling or losing its strength in years to come.
An example of this beautiful craft is showcased here to the left in our Goldfinch Pillow. The friendly goldfinch displayed on our Goldfinch Pillow has bold yellow, black and brown feathers. The hand hooking technique used, allows for the details in color to be shown. Surrounded by a spring color palette of sage green with gold and purple swirling vines, this pillow will look great on an accent bench in your entryway or your favorite chair in the living room.
Another new wool hooked pillow for spring is our lovely Flower Vases Pillow, pictured here to the left. Delightfully displayed in shades of green and blue glass bottles, the flowers appear to be blooming out from them. The bright green, thin border around the pillow and presence of a fluttering yellow butterfly makes it known that it’s time for spring. The details and color are achieved by designer Mary Lake Thompson.
Both of these pillows featured here are crafted of 100% hooked wool with a cream cotton-velvet back and zipper closure. They are also on sale for $10 off their original retail price, now during Sturbridge Yankee Workshop’s Annual Spring Sale.