Rag rug

Making a rag rug is something I’ve thought about doing for years. Over the years I’ve collected various materials with the intention of making a rag rug but with having moved about a bit, have ended up donating or recycling the clothes.

So when I saw a stand selling starter kits back at the craft show last autumn, I couldn’t not buy one. The kit came with the two types of hooks, instructions and the Hessian for a rug.

This kit was the one I was most excited about and therefore the one I started first when I got back home. I raided my fabric stash first and described to use on of my treasured pieces, a shrunken cashmere scarf. It is a soft grey brown with turquoise/yellow/purple woven at the ends. I based my colour scheme on the scarf and dug out all the bits and pieces I was happy to use as scraps in those colours. I then went and bought five items from a charity shop.

It turns out cutting strips of fabric takes forever even though I was using my rotary cutter and going through several layers of fabric.

I started by cutting up all the fabric and filling a box. I originally thought it might be enough or that I’d only need a bit more. (Spoiler – I was wrong)

The actual process of cutting the small strips and pulling them through the Hessian is incredibly meditative.

I started in the middle of the rug and worked each side equally to give a balanced pattern, and make sure it would stay balanced if I needed more fabric. My process was to fill a bag with short fabric strips and then use them randomly until there was a third left. I then added more short strips. Sometimes I slowly introduced new fabrics and/or colours and other times I added them all at once. This lead to quite different looks in the final rug.

I had to do another charity shop run and pulled quite a lot more fabric from my stash. It used far more fabric than I’d anticipated.

Despite some concerns as I was going, I do love the final rug. The mix of fabrics gives it a really textured look and feel. For the next one, I might use a slightly more refined colour scheme. I do love the turquoise and purple but getting the balance right was quite tricky.

I would love to do another but there are only so many rugs a flat needs and I’ve definitely reached my quota for my current place. I’ll keep it in mind for the future though.

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