Hooked rug makers were recyclers, when careful stewardship of resources in rural America was a way of life. Prior to the late 18th century, wood floors were generally bare. In the 1880's, it became common for women to turn old clothing into attractive floor coverings. In some places, yarn was used rather than scraps of wool.
Often, rug hookers recreated scenes from their lives in charmingly simple designs, or in geometric shapes that they also used for their quilts.