Hooky mat chair cover project

Hooky Mat Chair Cover Project – Update 2

The worn chair cover of one of our dining chairs needed mending. This gave me the prompt I needed to try my hand at an old upcycling craft – hooky matting, as we call it here in North East England. Upcycled textiles are cut into strips and hooked into a strong base material to make rugs or other textile items. I thought this technique would work well for a hard wearing chair cover.

In my last post I showed you how I used the charcoal transfer process to draw up my design on the heavy linen I’ve chosen as the base material.

After some practise with the handmade wooden hooky mat tool, I’ve now begun hooking the textile strips into my chair cover design. To gain further practice with the hook tool, I decided to work the flower stems first. The green t-shirt material I’ve used for the stems provided two different greens, depending on which way up I used it. I largely chose to use the darker green side, but I also made use of the more faded green on some edges and on one of the lower stems.

Hooky mat chair cover - starting to hook the design
Hooky mat chair cover – starting to hook the design

The next part of the design I have begun hooking is the outline of the largest flower, using some thin black strips of textile. This is one aspect of my hooky mat chair cover project that I have been trying out before I made a start on the actual thing. I don’t want the black outlines to be too heavy within the design so I experimented with different widths of textile strip. The close-woven nature of the linen base material is helpful in that it will readily hold the narrower textile strips in place.

I’m quite pleased with how this first stage of the chair cover has gone. Having the linen stretched on the frame certainly helped with keeping the design in place while I worked.

Hooky mat tool - now shiny from use
Hooky mat tool – now shiny from use

The hook tool has worked out well for me too. I’d made a few minor amendments to it using a file and I’ve noticed the hook end has already worked very smooth from pushing it through the rough linen. The smoother the hook the easier it is to work through the linen. I can imagine it is faster to hook textile strips into a more loosely-woven base fabric, but I have developed a reasonable rate of working … so it’s so far, so good.

I’ll post another update when I’ve made some more progress on my hooky mat chair cover project.

J Peggy Taylor

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5 thoughts on “Hooky Mat Chair Cover Project – Update 2

  1. Very interesting, Peggy! The process appears to be similar to Ahir embroidery, an Indian traditional hook work on fabric. They use needle-like hooks for Ahir work. Wondering how is it made with such large wooden hook! I am curious about its making and appearance from the back side.
    Looking for the next post in the series eagerly…
    TC! Keep smiling πŸ™‚

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