Recently on Facebook, I posted a photo of one of my rugs and a rug hooker commented that she wished her loops could be as even as mine. I felt that I had to confess and tell her that my loops are definitely not even, but that a really good steam pressing can help a lot.
I finished hooking my Snow Angel mat this week and I thought I could use it as an example of what my lumpy bumpy loops look like before and after a steam pressing. I’m sure many rug hookers have their own favorite way to do this important step before binding, but this is how I do it.
I use the countertop on my kitchen island. It is granite, but I’m sure another counter surface could work just as well or maybe even a bathroom tile floor. An old beach towel is laid on the countertop and then I lay the rug with the back side up. I take a white bath towel, wet it with cold water and wring it out. The bath towel is laid over the rug and then I begin steaming with my iron. The iron is placed on the bath towel, pressed down hard for about ten seconds, lifted and moved to the next area until the whole rug has been steamed. I’m standing on a step stool at this point, so I can get good downward pressure.
The bath towel is removed and the beach towel, too. I let the rug stay on the countertop for several hours until it feels pretty dry and then I flip the rug over and repeat this process on the top side of the rug. In the photos below you can see the before and after difference. It’s not perfect, but definitely better in the “after” photo. The photos are not the best, but I tried to take them at the same distance and angle. You can decide if my steam method makes a difference.
I have some ideas for the binding of this rug and maybe another fiber addition, so stay tuned.
There’s a lot of beauty out there and in taking the time to finish one’s rug properly.