– Materials & Tools

Rug Hook: There are many brands and sizes of hooks, economy priced through higher priced. You can start with a less expensive hook, but always choose a hook that corresponds with the width of the wool strip you wish to use and one that fits your hand comfortably. Ball handle, pencil-style, and even ergonomic hooks are available. Rug hooks are gauged fine, medium, primitive and coarse to guide you in choosing one that will work with the strip width you intend to use.

Rug hooks and red dot tracing fabric

Hartman and Moshimer rug hooks / Red Dot Tracing Fabric

Foundation: Several rug hooking foundations (often called backing) are available from inexpensive burlaps to higher-priced linens. Burlap is fine as a learning material, but as you begin to hook rugs that you really want to last for generations, use a better quality foundation, such as linen. Linen is stronger and less susceptible to rot from damp or dry conditions. Monks cloth is a cotton fabric that is a mid-priced foundation. Choose a different foundation for each of your first few projects and you’ll find the one that you prefer.

Frame or Hoop: Rug hooking frames vary widely in price, size and capability. Some are stationary and others swivel and tilt. Frames can sit in your lap, stand on the floor, or be stabilized by your own weight (sit-on frames.) Frames have gripper strips on all sides, which hold your pattern very tightly while you hook. Alternately, you can use a large, heavy-duty quilting hoop, which must be stabilized against a table edge during hooking. Frame choice is very personal; frame must fit your stature, arm length, and comfort. Try a frame before you purchase or know that you can return it if it doesn’t work for you.

Rug hooking foundation fabrics, backing

Foundation Fabrics

Strip Cutter: Strip cutters cut wool cloth into strips for hooking. Different size cutter heads fit into the strip cutter to produce wool in the strip width you need. Strips are measured in 32nds of an inch; when you see ‘strip cut #8,’ that means the strip of wool is 8/32-inch wide and was cut using a #8 cutter head. The larger the number, the wider the cut strip. There are several manufacturers of strip cutters. Cutters vary in price, beginning at about $150 up to $500 or more.

Model D Rigby Strip Cutter

Model D Rigby Strip Cutter

Bee Creek Ltd. floor stand and gripper frame

Bee Creek Ltd. floor stand and gripper frame

15 thoughts on “– Materials & Tools

  1. I am looking for different sized cutting blades for my Rigby cutter. Do you which web site I Could find some??? Are the blades universal and fit different machines??
    ThankYou

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    • Heather
      I know that Halcyonyarn.com carries all the Rigby cutter sizes, and as far as I know all the cutter heads will fit all the models of Rigby. I used to have a model H and now I have a model D – my cutter heads fit both. (Models B and C are for rag rugs.)They have gone up in price over the last 10 years (like everything else) but they do last a long, long time. And you can have them re-sharpened if they need it. Be sure you have a cleaning finger that matches the size of each butter head you install. Hope this helps.

      Sally

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  2. Thank you so much for your reply.
    It definitely helped me out!!
    I just happened to go on there and saw they had them. Although the size cutter i want does not have the fingers to match…go figure.
    I will keep checking!!
    Thanks again!

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    • What size is that? They should all have cleaning fingers to match! Maybe look again, or call them about it. I was surprised to see cutter head #8.5 (mine is an #8 and cuts three strips – and has a cutter finger the same size.) A #8 sizethat cutrs strips 1/4-inch wide is way more common than an #8.5 – I would call and ask for what you need. I bet they have it!! — Wait – I just went there and looked – I see a cleaning finger for every size cutter head they offer . . . maybe you missed it going from one page to another?

      Sally

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      • Ok Thanks!!!..
        I will go back there and check!!!!!
        I was hoping for one that is bigger than the one I have.
        The Rigby H that I am using came with a “RC5” and cuts 3 strips but they are very thin and some of the wool that I’m using comes apart easy being that finely cut. I went today and bought some different wool scraps from a local wool store, so maybe that will help a little.
        I’m waiting to hear back from my mother to find out what size she thinks this RC5 cuts. I thought she had said 1/4 but maybe it’s 1/8.
        Thanks again so much!!!!

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      • Heather
        The number on the cutter head refers to the cut size (all of which are in 32nds of an inch.) So the #5 that you have will cut strips 5/32-inch wide. A #8 would be 8/32 or 1/4 inch. So a #8 cutter head is going to give you 3 strips, each 1/4-inch wide. Any cutter head that says 6 or higher will cut a strip wider than the #5 head that you have now. The RC on the cutter head refers to Rigby Co.

        Sally

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    • YOU COULD, BUT THAT GENERALLY WILL CAUSE THE BLADES TO DULL FASTER. Oops – sorry about the caps. If you keep cutter blades just for cutting say, cotton material, and separate ones for your wool, you might do that.

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  3. I have a used Fraser cutter without instructions. Do you know a source for instructions? I am experimenting, but it would be helpful to have some guidance. Also, the used cutter I got came with a nut and washer. Do you know where the washer goes on the handle? Right next to the nut, on the end? Or on the other side of the head? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
    Ann

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  4. I won and old rigby cutter on line and I order some blades for it,,,,They came with fingers,,,,I have no idea how to use them or where to put them,,,,HELP,,,,Carol

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    • rigby cutter with cleaning finger

      Hi Carol – click the link above and you will see a pic of a Rigby with the cleaning finger attached to the platform. It slides onto the end (away from you) and clips in. Slide it all the way on, making sure that the groves in the end of the finger mesh with the cutting blades – they should both have the same number. A number 8 cutting head needs to use a number 8 cleaning finger. Hope you can see it.

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