6 rug hooking tips for beginners

Choose the right yarn for rug hooking (needle punching) — a three-ply wool rug yarn is the ideal choice as it's hard-wearing

Sure, we’ve got our craft staples (shout out to knitting, sewing and crochet) but we’re always on the lookout for the latest craft trend too. Say hello to rug hooking, in all of its bold, textured glory.

Want to give rug hooking a go? You’re in luck. We’ve got some handy beginner tips from Stephanie Fradette below. Oh, and did we mention that she created issue 88’s rather lovely rug hooking hoop too? Take a peek and subscribe to Mollie for all your rug hooking needs.

If you try rug hooking then share your tips with us in your pictures on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

Your rug hooking tips

1. Get the right tool

Rug hooking tips for beginners — tip 1 — make sure you get the right rug hooking tool

There are several different styles of rug hooking tools available — from the highly-coveted Amy Oxford needle, to rug prodders and vintage models. They all work in a similar way, by forming continuous loops through hooking the yarn through the fabric.

2. Choose your fabric wisely

Rug hooking tips for beginners — tip 1 — choose your foundation fabric carefully

The foundation fabric forms the base of your piece, so it’s important to choose it carefully in order to achieve the best results. Monk’s cloth is the optimum choice, but it can be pricey and hard to find in the UK. To get started, choose widely available hessian, linen burlap or any loose weave fabric. These fabrics are will be the foundation for your rug hooking journey.

3. Pick the ideal yarn

Rug hooking tips for beginners — tip 4 — three-ply wool rug yarn is ideal when you're new to rug hooking

A three-ply wool rug yarn is the ideal hard-wearing choice, but feel free to use any type of yarn, as long as it doesn’t catch. Chunky yarns work well and smaller weights like DK or aran can be doubled up for added texture.

4. Frame it

Beginners tips for rug hooking — tip4 — start by using an embroidery hoop to secure your backing fabric

The best way to start your rug hooking journey is by using an embroidery hoop to secure your backing fabric. As you progress and want to create larger projects, like cushions or rugs, you will need a wooden frame, where you can stretch and staple the fabric to the outer frame. You should be able to bounce a coin off the cloth. If you can’t it needs to be more taut.

5. Find balance

Beginners rug hooking tips — tip 4 — find the right balance between your needle, fabric choice and yarn

When you start rug hooking, it’ll take you a few attempts to find the right balance between your needle, fabric choice and yarn. Be sure to experiment, whether it’s with loop size or displaying the reverse side of your piece. Remember to start off slow and keep a constant pace.

6. Troubleshoot

Rug hooking tips for beginners — tip 5 — troubleshoot if your loops aren't forming properly

Loops not forming properly? Check that your yarn isn’t caught on anything. The feeding yarn should flow freely into the needle for a hassle-free rug hooking experience.

New year, new skill

If rug hooking isn’t your thing check out our new skill blog posts below:


Stephanie Fradette, Le Petit MooseAbout Stephanie

Stephanie is a fibre artist, based in Scotland, where she raises her young family. Her Etsy shop Le Petit Moose is a nod to her French-Canadian roots. Experimenting with all things fibre, she creates vintage inspired flat weave textiles, knotted wares and do-it-yourself kits. Join her fibre journey on Facebook and Instagram.


  • Elizabeth Almeter

    Any books you recommend as a starting point? Great article for the tools.