The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers (TIGHR) began December 4, 1994 in London, England with a group of international friends who decided to establish a world wide group involved in rugmaking.
DECEMBER 4, 2014 was our 20th Anniversary and the first International Hook-In Day. Celebrate our resourceful, artistic, traditions with fellow rughookers each year on December 4 International Rug Hooking Day Visit our Facebook page for more details TIGHR The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers.
We hope you become interested to join in too. The 2013-2015 term is open for enrollment now, click here for membership form.
Our MISSION STATEMENT reads:
“The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers is a global organization of creative people who come together in friendship to share ideas, and to explore the different techniques of the art of rugmaking using a variety of fibres.”
Each Executive Board is comprised of members in one country for three years. They lead the organization commnicating through a quarterly newsletter, Hooking Matters, this website (www.TIGHR.net), a members only on-line network and conducting our Tri-Ennial a conference/symposium format at the end of their term.
Since 1994, boards and meetings have been in Nova Scotia, Canada 1997; Rhode Island, United States 2000; Toronto, Canada 2003; Tenby,Wales 2006; Louisville, Kentucky, United States, 2009 and in Strathalbyn, South Australia 2012. The current board is based in Victoria, BC for 2013-2015, culminating with the 8th Tri-Ennial October 4-7, 2015 at the Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria, BC Canada.
The craft of “Rugmaking” covers many different techniques over the centuries. This organization is interested mainly in the manipulating of fibers (fabric strips in a variety of widths or yarns) by pulling or pushing through an open weave backer. Contemporary artists often use cotton monks cloth/rug warp or linen with approximately 12-15 threads per inch. These natural fibers will maintain a good foundation for years to come. In the past any fabric which could be punctured to pull a loop through was used, leaving the utilitarian/artful creations to deteriorate because the foundation fibers were not strong enough to withstand the elements and stress. Our members have described their techniques and provided terminology on a page under Membership.
A sister craft to quilting, matmaking evolved out of the need to warm spaces and beautify with scraps. Depending on the region’s sources of material, a variety of techniques have developed and flourished worldwide. In the States and Canada wool fabric is most commonly used, resisting wear due to foot traffic, light exposure and changes to temperatures. This material was also commonly available as clothing for the colder climates. Japan’s recycling materials include their silk kimonos. Their styles of hooking are often painterly and traditional using thin strips of wool in a variety of values.
Wider cuts and less use of graduated values are reminiscent of the primitive style of hooked rugs created in America in the very early 1800’s. In the Maritime provinces of Canada and spreading down to New England in the United States, wool and bare floors met the need to hook rugs from recycled clothe. Regions developed styles and particular use of materials or markets for the designs. Patternmakers stenciled designs and peddled them beginning after the American Civil War in the 1860’s. Today Rug Hooking Magazine publishes articles featuring the multitude of styles/techniques, lists events and workshops and is supported by advertisers.
In Australia and the United Kingdom, the craft is referred to as hooky if pulling with a hook. Another technique using strips cut wide and about 3″ in length, and prodded through the backing creating a lush pile is called proggy. Pieces of T-shirts, fleece and other synthetics are more available than wool in these countries and found in many a craftsmen’s stash.
Another technique incorporated into mats is standing wool or quilling. Using wider strips folded in half and sewn to the backing down the middle length, progressively packing more strips to fill the surface a heavy mat is created. This was used prior to hooking through the foundation in America. Resurfacing these days all over the globe by incorporating circles as flower centers or making useful mats.
Benefits to joining this international organization continue to grow. They currently include a private members online site where we can discuss current topics, post group projects and meet members by visiting their own personal pages. Skype conference calls between members are another innovative way to access the global techniques and projects our network is involved with. Videos of conference events are available on the members’ site along with the presentations by fiber experts. The organization is taking advantage of cyberspace and connecting the members on social media platforms also.