As an alternative to drawing patterns freehand, domestic hookers traced them using a piece of charcoal with paper or cardboard guides. Different designs could be combined in one pattern. By collecting a number of designs, women could obtain a vast array of patterns and allow their imaginations free rein.
Around 1868, canvases with printed patterns became commercially available. Several businesses started selling patterns, and catalogues began to appear at the end of the century. The availability of patterns made it possible to create more elaborate designs, but these rugs were also less imaginative and more structured.