Tips and Tricks: Print Your Own Rug Labels

Most rug hookers like to label their rugs, for good reason. There’s great benefit to keeping track of the name of the pattern, when it was hooked, the name of the teacher who helped them, and a wide variety of other information.

I like labels for one other important reason: they create a digital record of my rug as it looked when I hooked it. This is because, in addition to all the normal information people like to include on their labels, I include a picture of my rug from when I hooked it.

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A label Ania created for her “Monte Cassino Poppies” rug. 

Why is an image of your completed rug important?

It creates a record of your rug and the colors in it when it was finished. One of the heartbreaking parts of rug hooking is when the colors fade or even change to entirely different colors due to sun exposure or other damage. An image provides a reference point to that change. You’ll know which of your wool are the least light stable, and which you might want to avoid going forward.

Similarly, having an image of the original rug makes it much easier to restore damaged rugs.

For identification purposes, you always have a picture of your rug on hand. I’ve found this useful on many occasions, whether it was sending out an email to notify someone of which of my rugs I was missing, or showing someone a project that I didn’t have immediately on hand because it was on display someplace.

It also creates an image diary of your own work, and how you improve and change in your hooking as time goes by. It’s almost like taking pictures of your children as they’re growing up!

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A label Ania created for her “Lima” rug.

How do you create these labels? 

I have a standard template in word, with the picture on the left, and the typed out information on the right. I file my images in a folder on my computer so that I have a central location where I can find all of my rugs.

I print my labels on fabric sheets on my ink jet printer. You can find fabric sheets at fabric or quilt stores. You load them like regular paper, and create a label . The sheets are paper backed, so after you print off your label you can peal off the paper and apply it to the back of your rug.

Do you have any questions for Ania about her labels? Feel free to leave them in the comments section below!

11 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks: Print Your Own Rug Labels

  1. Great info! Thanks! Have you spoken about ‘holidays’. I noticed in the pics of the backside of your rugs some exposed backing and I learned that the backing needs room to breath. Recently, I finished a rug that had some large holidays – probably from hooking higledy-pigledy, and lots of angles. I filled some in, and as I filled them the remaining ones seemed to grow in size even tho really not at all noticiable on the front. Any advice?

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    1. Thanks Suzanne for the idea of doing a post on tips and tricks on “holidays”! I’ll put it on our list of topics to cover here in deeper detail. However to answer your question here, I’ve found that the wider the cut I use the larger the holidays I have on the back. For example in the Monte Cassino Poppies rug you can see backing between two white/blue strips of wool directly above the left edge of the label. There are 3-4 strands of linen showing (the equivalent of 4-5 holes across). If I were hooking with a #3 or #4, you would see the space on both the front and the back of the rug. However, since this rug is hooked with a 1/2in torn strip and #6 cut, the wide strip forces the linen strands to tighten together. On the front of the rug the “bloom” of the strip occupies a much greater area and there is no space seen on the front of the rug. The breathing of the backing and rug is important, as well as realizing that over packing the foundation with loops/strips causes distortion of the fabric, weakening of the fibers in areas and causes buckling and ripples in the finished rug.

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    1. Joanna Turchin commented on this post that she uses the same fabric paper on her laser jet printer and lets them dry at least a half hour before touching them. She also recommends to be very careful because steam pressing can smudge the ink. I don’t have access to a laser jet printer to try it out. Thanks to Joanna for the comment.

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