A large number of hooking groups are active in New-Brunswick and in Nova-Scotia and thus contribute to the transmission of this traditional art. These artisans meet on a regular basis to share their techniques and creations. They all have at heart the transmission of the joy of hooking to the next generations. By exhibiting numerous contemporary shows and by exploring innovative approaches in their work, members of Les Hookeuses du Bor’de’lo have elevated the art of rug hooking to a recognized medium of artistic creativity.
Recycling is fundamental to the art of rug hooking. Used fabrics or a variety of materials are cut into strips and hooked onto burlap, linen, cotton or synthetic backing with a simple hook.
In the Chéticamp tradition, artisans use fine wool yarn on burlap. Les Hookeuses du Bor’de’lo explore various materials in their creations (wool, feathers, fur, wood, silk, paper, copper, etc.).
The technique of hooked rugs was introduced in the Chéticamp region (Nova-Scotia) in the late 1800s. During the years 1950 to 1980, the talent of Elizabeth LeFort would bring acclaim to this traditional art. Her artworks can be found at the Chéticamp’s Acadian Cultural Centre, at Rideau Hall, Buckingham Palace, the White House and the Vatican.
New-Brunwick’s artisans have contributed significantly to capture and illustrate the province’s history, leaving an important heritage through their hooked rugs. A renewed interest and commitment to preserve this traditional art has been evident in the past years.
The New-Brunswick Mat Registry was created to preserve this legacy. A network of volunteers from all regions of the province is involved in documenting hooked rugs made more than 25 years ago in order to capture the stories and culture of the people who produced these mats. This information is digitally preserved and exhibited on a website in partnership with the New-Brunswick Museum.