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Watched Items: Off-The-Hooked Rugs

April 28, 2011



Every week, Amber Bravo chooses one thing to totally obsess over on eBay. This week she's hooked on vintage rugs.

Guess what?! It's officially spring in NYC (like, for real spring) A great reason to engage in all sorts of spring-time activities like dancing around a maypole, bacchanalia, buying open-toed shoes, and, if you're of working stock, you'll probably also have to clean your apartment.

There's something about cleaning the apartment that makes you somehow reinvest in living in it. It's kind of like when you excavate a shirt from a deeply procrastinated laundry pile. You think: Oh, you! I'll never get you dirty again! You start to think about framing those prints you've had stacked in the corner since you moved in, consider buying a new chair, and, more than anything, you resolve never to let your apartment get sooo gross ever again.

Which is what brings me to my latest ebay obsession: Hooked rugs. I'm in the (mental) market for a doormat, which simultaneously satisfies both the desire to spruce up the apartment AND to keep it clean. The other thing that's great about an outdoor rug is that it sets the tone for your apartment, but it doesn't really have to go with anything in it. It's kind of just its own, isolated moment out there by the door.


But most doormats are ugly. Either they're overly "hip" and "modern," or they're totally mundane. Which is why I'm really into these vintage hooked rugs. First of all, there are A LOT of them on eBay. And secondly, rug hooking is an accessible layman's craft—easier and less technical than loom weaving and more "open" to artistic interpretation—so there's a staggering range in motif, color pattern, and quality. You'll often see the rugs prefaced with words like "interesting" or "unusual" which is another way of saying "ugly"—but that's just for people who don't see how utterly rad it is that someone hooked a crude looking cow with a fuscia splotch on it. Why not?!

Seriously, some of these rugs are straight up, on-the-level outsider-art quality. Which makes them all the more suitable for sitting just outside your door.

To find some sweet hooked rugs, search ebay for: #hooked rug > #antique
If you really want to nerd out >#primitives.

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Watched Items: Off-The-Hooked Rugs