Last night I attended a Rag Rug Workshop as part of the Green Festival of Making and Mending which was held in the Exchange Bar in Rutland Street in Leicester. About 10 people attended the workshop and we learnt a range of techniques in rag rug making from the trainer, Jill who was very encouraging and made the event very enjoyable.
We brought along some spare t-shirts or other cloth such as old bed-sheets or clothes that could be cut up to make the rags as well as scissors and some people brought 'pull through' tools. We then chose the techniques we wanted to try out.
Some of us did the 'pull through' method where short strips of cloth are pushed through hessian to make a very tactile rug of a range of depths and colours. Some made crochet rugs, some made a rug using a platting and then sewing technique and some of us, including myself made what is known as a 'toothbrush rug'. It is called a toothbrush rug because you need some form of large needle to push the strips of cloth through previous knots of the same cloth. We used large paper clips as the needles but previously toothbrushes which used to have holes in the handle were adapted to make these large needles. Then the rug was made by using a series of knots building outwards from the centre or from one side to the other.
It was a very enjoyable evening with great company, a great atmosphere and great feelings to be able to make something wonderful in your chosen colours, from what otherwise would have been rags that could have been thrown away.
Many thanks to Jill for facilitating and sharing these skills and for the team organising the festival. Was a really great night and I encourage others to make the most of these wonderful opportunities to learn new skills as part of the Green Festival of Making and Mending.
Here is a picture of the start of my rug made using the 'toothbrush method' and using strips of fabric from four different old sheets.