Learn to Latch Hook

Latch hook is a fun, easy craft that allows you to create pictures and designs by knotting pieces of yarn on a mesh canvas. Latch hook is wonderfully diverse. Designs can be squares, rectangles, or specialty shapes. They can be simple or complex. The completed pieces can be finished in a variety of ways, from rugs or pillows to holiday stockings or wall hangings.


What You Need

The easiest way to start latch hooking is to buy a kit, which will contain the canvas and yarn you need. You can also buy the supplies separately, including packages of yarn pre-cut to 2½" (6.4cm). The basic supplies needed for latch hook are:

  • Latch hook canvas (most common is 3.75-mesh, but it also comes in 5-mesh)
  • Latch hook yarn
  • Latch hook tool
  • Finishing materials, depending on how you choose to finish your project


Getting Started

Important: Before you start your project, determine which direction to work on the canvas. You must always hook the yarn on the horizontal threads of the canvas (see diagram at right). If your yarn is hooked on the vertical twisted threads of the canvas, your finished piece will pull out of shape.

Latch hooks follow a gridded chart of symbols, much like a counted cross-stitch. Each symbol on the chart represents one strand of yarn in a specific color. Your chart will also indicate where you should start your work.
To begin latching, measure in 1" (2.5cm) from the edge and center the design across the width of the canvas. Attach your first piece of yarn as follows:

  1. Grasp latch hook in right and. Fold one piece of pre-cut rug yarn exactly in half around shank of hook just below latch. Hold yarn in place with right index finger.
  2. Insert tip of hook down into one hole of canvas and out through hole directly above. Push hook through only until it is just past the latch. Horizontal threads of canvas should now be over the shank of hook.
  3. Grasp both ends of yarn between left thumb and forefinger. Latch must be open. Place yarn ends over latch (between latch and hook).
  4. Pull hook toward you until latch meets hook, closing over the yarn. Release yarn ends with fingers. Pull hook firmly toward you to complete knot around the canvas threads.
  5. Tighten knot by pulling the two yarn ends toward you evenly.
Work across the canvas from left to right and bottom to top. When a row is completed, return to the left-hand side and start in the next row up from the one just completed. Keep your canvas straight in front of you. Do not turn or twist the canvas as you create knots. The canvas should lie on a flat surface when knotting. Do not fold the canvas.


Tips & Tricks

  • Keep all knots facing the same direction. Knots tied in more than one direction will create an uneven lay to the knotted strands of the rug and will noticeably detract from the final appearance.
  • When the piece is completed, fluff up the knotted strands by running your hand across the rug in the reverse direction the strands are lying (going against the grain of the yarn strands). Grasping the two top edges of the canvas, shake the rug vigorously for a few seconds. Even out all the ends of the knotted strands by pulling slightly on the shorter of the two ends.



The most common way to finish a latch hook project is as a rug or wall hanging. Cut away the excess canvas, leaving a 1" (2.5cm) border around the last row of knots on all sides of the design. Clip off each perpendicular corner ½" (1.3cm) from the knotted area. Fold the edges under and tack to the back of the latch canvas with heavy thread.

Cover the folded canvas edges with rug binding. There are two types of rug binding to choose from: sew-on binding and iron-on binding. Regardless of which binding you choose, it is recommended that you apply a non-skid rug backing. This will prevent your rug from slipping.

Iron-on binding is a great finishing solution if you’re short on time.

  1. Preheat your iron to a medium heat setting.
  2. Cut the length of the binding to about 1" (2.5cm) longer than your canvas.
  3. Place the binding around the edge of your project, making sure it’s placed as close as possible to the knotted edge (your last row around the rug).
  4. Slowly press your iron around the edges and allow the binding to cool for about 10 minutes.
Sew-on binding takes a bit longer to complete, but it will stand the test of time.
  1. Cut the length of the binding to about 1" (2.5cm) longer than your canvas.
  2. Stitch the rug binding around the outside edge of the rug. Using carpet thread, baste the stitch along the outside edge of the binding and then make a second line of stitching inside the initial line of basting (closer to the knotted edge). This will give a double-supported edge to your rug. Make sure your stitches don’t come through the front of the rug, interfere, or loosen any of your latched yarn.



Gently hand wash or dry clean. Do not bleach. Do not machine dry or line dry. Dry flat. When dry, fluff strands with your hand and shake vigorously.