Rug Hooking with  Cindi Gay
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To shade or NOT to shade? is NOT the question.

The question is "What style of shading you will hook?" Most rugs are improved with some shading, even primitives.  CLICK ON THE PICTURES BELOW TO SEE THEM MUCH LARGER.  If the picture shrinks after it is fully loaded, try clicking on it.  Some browsers will let you jump between a closeup and a full view.


Hooked with a larger cut
Uses fewer values, usually less than 4.  Can be done with as little as 2.
Changes from light to darker wool is abrupt, not as smooth as tapestry shading.
Includes the use of textures. (Often one plaid can supply 2 or more values)
Direction of hooking more evident in this style.


This an example of primitive shading.  Notice the driveway area.  It is shaded from darker at the bottom to lighter at the top.  I did not use a swatch, just pulled together various fabrics that were similar in color and varied from light to dark.



Another primitive "shading" example.  The small blue flowers appear to have some shading when you view the rug from a distance because each petal is hooked with a different blue plaid.  This is one of the easiest ways to shade.

Note the shading on the daisy petals and center. The center is shaded for shape but the petals are much more loosely shaded.   Some of these wools are an overdyed texture - something you never see in tapestry shading.  The leaves use various wools in a random manner.  No effort was made to shade.

**This picture takes a while to load but you can see every loop.


These rag doll feet are shaded with a few shades of as-is grey heather and black.


Hooked with a small cut so that many values can be used.
Hooked with swatches - jar dyeing method - 6 or more values
Smoother transition from light to dark.  Somewhat more forgiving on the placement of each loop.

This rose was hooked with a 10 shade swatch.  Note the use of the monarch color in various places in the rose and in the leaves.

This hooking uses traditional finger shading and mock shading.

This is all #3 cut but not all of the shading is done with a formal swatch.  The pear and apple in particular use a swatch for the majority of the area but both have unrelated wools added for interest.

You can use your scrap bag even for formal tapestry shading.


Copyright 2003 by Cindi Gay. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02/03/08.