Established in 1920, The Ruggery specializes in creating custom designed hand hooked rugs for people who appreciate superb quality and distinctive design. Our archives span nearly a century, with rug designs ranging from decorative folk art to historical reproductions, traditional Americana to modern classics.
Most of our hooked rugs are commissioned by private homeowners or interior designers and are developed as one-of-a-kind, heirloom-quality pieces. Many of these rugs have themes or motifs worked into them that are important to the client. All our rugs are made of 100% New Zealand wool, which is hand dyed and hand hooked by skilled artisans at our New York location. We are the only U.S.-based company that that can produce custom-designed hand-hooked rugs for any size room in the home. Our decorative accent rugs and custom-made area rugs add beauty and comfort to every setting: Our projects include San Francisco townhouses and country estates, luxury condos and beachfront cottages, Midwest country clubs and custom-built yachts. Our purpose is to provide clients with unique, hand hooked rugs that are beautiful and useful: rugs of incomparable workmanship hand made by American artisans and expert craftsmen.
The Ruggery has been featured in numerous books and publications over the years, including The New York Times, House Beautiful, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day and House and Garden. Our client list reads like a who’s who of American society, with iconic names such as Kennedy, Kellogg, Morgan, Post, du Pont, Pratt, Hepburn and Bilhuber. Our rugs can be seen in U.S. Senate offices, the Vatican and distinguished residences around the world.
The Ruggery also hopes to enhance the recognition of hand hooked rugs as an authentic American arts tradition by supplying a full line of hook rug kits and materials, including our patented Craftsman punch needle for hooked rugs, rug frames, hand dyed yarn and printed rug patterns on monk’s cloth. Look for us in Amy Oxford’s definitive book on rug hooking Punch Needle Rug Hooking—Techniques and Designs.
Personalized Gift Rugs—One of our Specialties
As early as the 16th century, ambassadors and merchants presented hand-made rugs to heads of state as part of their diplomatic gift giving. The Ruggery continues this tradition with its signature line of personalized gift rugs, seasonal accent rugs and animal portraits.
These one of a kind, hand crafted rugs are extraordinary. They can tell a story or paint a picture. Our designers work from photographs to create high quality decorative rugs whose details hold special meaning for the client. These rugs often portray a favorite pet, a family home, a pastime, a landscape, a voyage or logo. Beautiful and durable, they become prized possessions and family heirlooms.
Unique gifts for any occasion, our hand made custom rugs are popular gifts for weddings, anniversaries, new homes, new babies, holidays and retirements. An ideal gift for the person who has everything, our custom rugs sit in Senate offices, the Vatican and private residences around the world. Visit The Ruggery Collection for examples.
Located on the North Shore of Long Island, The Ruggery was started in 1920 by Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Porter. The couple came to New York from England and began making rugs in the dining room of their house. The rugs, which primarily featured large floral patterns and Early American designs, were commissioned by private clients or for F. Schumacher and Company. Mrs. Porter dyed the yarn, while her sister drew the patterns. Mr. Porter and local artisans hooked the rugs for their affluent clients.
George Wells purchased The Ruggery in 1956 after a career in retailing, where he designed merchandise, displays and store interiors. Wells had been hooking rugs for some time, and his abstract designs were the beginning of a new style of rug making. His work was widely exhibited and received top awards in national competitions. Wells’ innovative rug designs expanded to include the finely detailed pictorial scenes for which The Ruggery became famous. Renowned for his modern designs, Wells said he enjoyed “making untraditional designs for traditional houses.” Wells compared his work as a master rug maker to that of a stage designer. “The stage setting is the room, and the rug must suit the setting and the characters who live in that setting,” he said. “Above all, the characters must enjoy the rugs.”
Wells’ achievements included awards from the National Designer Craftsman Exhibition, New York Architectural League and American Institute of Decorators, among others. He was also an advocate for rug hooking as rehabilitation and therapy, and worked with the New York State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to provide instruction and materials.
The Ruggery is currently owned by Joseph Misiakiewicz, an artisan and entrepreneur with lifelong connections to the shop. “My mother’s cousins used to work for George Wells,” he recalls. “In the evenings they would sometimes get together to make rugs for their large extended family. One of my earliest memories is playing under a rug frame, watching them punch yarn through. I must have been about three.” Years later, Joe would visit Mr. Wells at The Ruggery. There he learned the nuances of rug design: how to combine colors and textures to create different effects, how to dye yarn, match fabrics, define details. In time, Joe became a skilled rug maker.
When Mr. Wells died, Joe bought The Ruggery and breathed new life into the business. Under his ownership, The Ruggery has produced hundreds of original, heirloom-quality rugs for luxurious homes and discerning clients.
The Rug Making Process
Each rug is custom designed for you, the client. Share your ideas, photographs, color samples or fabric swatches, and we’ll come up with a design to suit your space and tastes.
Our designers will provide you with sketches to choose from. Once you’ve decided on a design, we consider colors. When the final full-color design has been approved, we move on to the dye room.
Using only the finest New Zealand wool, we hand dye a sample of each color, paying careful attention to the range of shades needed to highlight details and add contrast to the rug. Once the colors have been approved, our master alchemist sets to work dying each skein by hand. Our expert craftsmen project the design onto monk’s cloth backing, and we’re ready to start hooking.
The monk’s cloth is stretched onto wooden frames and our experienced craftsmen set to work hand hooking every loop in your rug. Our skilled artisans pay meticulous attention to detail and instill elegance, purpose and pride into every rug they make.
Once the hooking is complete, we shear the rug and double check to ensure it meets our highest standards of quality. We latex the back of each rug so it’s super durable and won’t slip. Only now is your rug ready to ship.
Each of our rugs offers outstanding craftsmanship that you and your family will enjoy for years to come. Creating a custom-designed hand-made rug requires a great deal of time and attention, but most worthwhile things do. We believe our rugs are worth the effort—and you will, too!