Fold Forward Finish: The Whipping Yarn

Written by Cindi Gay

Whipping the corner of a hooked rugAfter the edge of the rug is prepared, folded and secured in place with some simple basting it is time to whip the edge of your hooked rug. I like a whipped finish because it gives the hooked rug a stiffer edge and some added protection from the vacuum. Yes, I vacuum my hooked rugs. I use rug warp backing so my rugs are sturdier and stiffer than linen rugs. I do have one linen rug that I vacuum often but I have to be extra careful to not catch the edge into the beater bar.

What type of yarn should I use to whip my hooked rug?

Use 100% wool yarn. Anything less will begin to pill up and get fuzzy in a short time. Nothing wears as well as wool. In this example I used a thick single ply but I’ve also used 3-ply needlepoint yarn, Paternayan. It can create an interesting edge because you can separate it and combine it with other colors. This is often the only solution when you cannot match a color. For instance, if you can’t find the perfect green, use several greens that are a close match. Take the plys apart and reassemble them into a 3 to 6 ply yarn and whip the edge with the new combination. Including one strand of an accent color makes a nice look also. After several years, I don’t think the needlepoint yarns holds up quite as well as my new favorite, Cascade. I love the brown/black color because it seems to go with everything. It is dark, but not a harsh cold black. One skein whips over 500″ or one rug about 10′ x 12′.

How much yarn will I need to whip my hooked rug?

Make a sample whipping using a scrap of backing that you cut off. Start whipping with a length of yarn a comfortable length. I like about 5′ or 60″. Secure the ends of the yarn the same way you will on the rug. While this test will help you to determine how much yarn you will need it also gives you a chance to test the color. You can hold the test edge up to your rug and verify that the color is just right. If you whip the edge and then have to take it out, that process can be hard on the edge of your rug.

When you have finished the test, measure the length of whipping you accomplished with this length of yarn. Measure the length and the width of your rug. Enter the numbers into the calculator on this page..

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