Friday, 8 January 2016

WIP no1 - Rag Rug

As promised I am starting the new year with a review of my work in progress (WIP) projects, the first thing I am looking at is a project I have the items for but have not yet started, it is a rag rug, I have always liked the idea of these, their origins based in necessity and they embrace the frugal mentality of make do and mend which is a mind set I need to tap into.

I was inspired by a visit we  made a couple of years ago to Blists Hill Victorian Town  where one of the custodians was making one of theses and it seemed relatively simple to do. This could be because she was very experienced and made it look very easy!

The thread is a small narrow oblong of fabric cut using the gauge to ensure uniformity, it is laid into the latch hook, this is pushed into the hole in the hessian and out the other side then released so that the thread is either side of hessian strand.  I understand that the key to getting it right is to ensure that you pack the treads in tightly as they work together to hold each other in place.

I brought a 2nd hand  kit from e-bay it was almost the same price as just the latch hook and came with a set of instructions, a cutting gauge and one piece of hessian. On reading the instructions I found that you need two pieces of hessian one to hook the threads into and one for the backing, I have since acquired some more hessian.

The only thing that is missing now is the actual thread, I will be making this from old T shirt fabric so I have been pouncing on anything the family have discarded. I am not sure how far my little stash will go so the next step is to cut some strips and have a practice, this will give me an idea of how far one T shirt will go and give me an opportunity to practice the technique.  I was eyeing up a couple of the discarded T-shirts and wondering why I had passed them over for this project when I realised one had a big oily cooking stain on the front and the other had a string of holes on the arm, making them perfect for this project.

As always I have done some research on Pinterest, there are many different techniques and ideas for making rag rugs if you are thinking of having a go from the "tufting" method that I am going to try to creating a long plait of fabric coiled and sewn together.

I will keep you updated with how things are progressing, in the mean time if you have any experience of rag rug making and can offer any advice I would love to hear from you.


  1. At first I didn't know what type of rag rug you were making. Then I checked your link to Pintrest and it all made sense. I have vague memories doing some latch hook rugs at High School. Good luck with this, will be interested in your final product.

    1. Good old Pinterest to the rescue, hopefully I will have something to show soon