Hooked Mats of Newfoundland & Labrador




This book, published in 2006 in partnership with DRC Publishing Inc., has been a very successful project for the Rug Hooking Guild of Newfoundland and Labrador. It features a collection of hooked mats compiled from the Guild’s Heritage Hooked Rug Registry and also highlights the history of mat hooking in the province and the formation and growth of the rug hooking guild itself.

The Heritage Hooked Rug Registry started in 1997 when Guild member Joan Foster began photographing mats, many dating before Confederation in 1949 and made in communities throughout the province. To accompany these pictures she collected stories and other personal accounts of the mat-makers and the circumstances that encouraged their work.

“Women made mats for several reasons but generally they were made to create warmth on floors often made of bare boards but some also earned a little money from their work and for others it was an important social event,” said Mrs. Foster. “Whatever the reason, mat-making was certainly a part of the household duties for many women in rural Newfoundland and Labrador and one that seems to trigger memories of growing up in these households. What better tribute to our mothers and grandmothers than the preservation of this heritage.”

As part of the Registry project, Mrs. Foster and other Guild volunteers visited communities to meet with mat-makers and/or their families. As the work of RHGNL began to spread, so did the interest in this project. In recent years, the Guild has held mat registrations at centers throughout the province and during annual rug school. To date, almost 800 mats have been registered and a copy of the Registry has been made available to researchers through the Provincial Museum at The Rooms in St. John’s.

Hooked Mats of Newfoundland and Labrador: Beauty Born of Necessity can be purchased directly from RHGNL for $15 plus postage by contacting Joan Foster at gjfoster@xplornet.ca.

Additional information

Weight 0.96875 lbs
Dimensions 8.6 × 8.5 × 0.6 in