Guest Author - Christine Dux
With a little advanced planning, the hem of a square or rectangle rug can be latch hooked as your work on the rug reducing the amount of sewing later on.
Canvas should be cut to allow a hem of four blank holes around the outside edges of your rug. Holes along the edge of the canvas should be surrounded by mesh on all four sides. Cutting to close to the outside edge will cause the canvas to unravel. After all four sides of the hem have been cut; the corners will need to be cut to allow for a mitered fold later on. (The mitered fold will look similar to the way the wood meets in the corners of a picture frame.) Cut diagonally across the corners. If your hem is four holes wide, the triangle piece that you cut from the corner, will have three full holes.
Once the hem has been trimmed, place a dot of white glue at each joint in the mesh along the outside edge to prevent the canvas from unraveling. I have purchased Elmer’s Glue-All from my local discount store in the school supplies section and it works well. Allow to dry.
Corners: Normally, you would hook your rug one row at a time. When latch hooking the hem, you’ll need to hook all four corners first. Sixteen holes at each corner should be hooked; four across and four high.
Row 1: Once the corners have been hooked, hook the bottom row.
After row one has been hooked, fold the lower left hand corner to the backside of the rug and pin in place using a small safety pin if needed. Fold the lower right hand corner to the back side of the rug and pin in place using a small safety pin if needed. Fold the bottom hem to the back side of the rug, matching up the holes of the hem to the holes on the front of the canvas. The canvas will be folded along the knots of your first row. If folded correctly, the canvas should not be visible at the bottom of your rug.
Row 2: Latch hook, starting at either the left or right hand side, straight across through both layers of canvas, making sure the holes are lined up as you work. Continue working one row at a time until the bottom hem is completely hooked. Remove safety pins.
Fold the top corners to the backside of the rug and pin in place using small safety pins if needed. Fold both side hems to the back of the rug, matching up the holes. The lower corners should have a mitered fold.
Latch hook, starting at either the left or right hand side, making sure that the holes of the side hems are lined up with the front of your canvas. Finish one row before starting the next.
Top Four Rows: Fold the top hem to the back side of the rug matching up the holes. The top corners should have a mitered fold. Working the row, directly above the last finished row, starting at either the left or right hand side, latch hook straight across through both layers of canvas.
When the rug is completed, the mitered corners will need to be sewn. Thread a curved sewing needle with heavy duty thread. I have purchased Coats Extra Strong Upholstery Thread at my local craft store and it works well for this, but any strong thread will work. Place a stitch in each hole of the mitered corners and attach to the top side of the canvas. Tie off thread when finished and tuck loose ends under the hem.