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An Introduction to Rag Rugs (Paperback)

Creative Recycling

Photographic Books Colour Books Arts and Crafts White Owl

By Jenni Stuart-Anderson
Imprint: White Owl
Series: Crafts
Pages: 136
Illustrations: 120 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781526780607
Published: 30th September 2021


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RRP £14.99

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Making is good for you. Exploring crafts can be relaxing and therapeutic : the projects in this book are accessible to anyone who is inspired to recycle old clothes and textiles into unique, decorative, useful projects.

Our forbears improvised tools to recycle their worn clothes - mostly dark suiting or mill waste if they lived near a mill. Usually they made mats for their cold floors or as draft excluders across doors. Nowadays you can choose from so many more colours and textures - painting with rags!

Try one project or more. You will be able to use the techniques to design and make your own one-off items for your home or as hand-made gifts.

The techniques here are traditional and simple - you will be surprised at how drab fabrics become transformed. Simple designs work best and you can even improvise as you work. If a fabric runs out, then use another - I call that organic design! Hooking is the best technique for pictorial detail and different techniques could be combined for original wall art.

Historically, rugs were made by several people sitting round a horizontal frame with the children cutting the pieces of rag which were prodded into the hessian (burlap) backing to make a shaggy mat. There is a prodded project (for purists) but you can also achieve the same effect without a frame by progging, which can be done on table or thigh (carefully).

Warning – this craft can be addictive!

I really enjoyed the book. It was very thorough and detailed. If you are a crafter this is a must have. Whether it's a new craft to you (like me) or old.

NetGalley, Laura Fayle

This is a nice explanation of all sorts of different rag rugs and best practices on how to make them. The photos and drawings explain a lot. I am inspired to make my own rug.

NetGalley, Amanda Karsh

What a great book! I have to say that this is a great idea for everyone to try and is a great use for clothing and fabric that isn’t suitable to pass on for someone else to use, because it has a stain or a tear perhaps.
I’m definitely going to get the basics to give this a go myself as you can get them for less that £10 online.
I would definitely recommend this book and it would make a great gift too.

NetGalley, Pauline Knox

I really liked that this book went through a history of sorts, showing us pictures of rag rugs from the past. I had no idea what to expect from this book, as the only kind of rag rug I knew about was the braided ones. So I was very surprised to see the pictures of elaborate patterns and pictures that some people have made! I do like that the author showed that this can be as creative as you want it to be. Someone who is good at art can make a stunning rug, while someone who isn't as artistic (like me) can do something simpler.

NetGalley, Katie Sauer

A good overview of the different ways to use rags and fabric to make rugs. The opening chapters cover the history of fabric and of using rags. Following this are chapters on methods, materials, and on specific techniques. Included throughout are inspiring pictures of work by the author. Each chapter on a technique includes a starter project.

NetGalley, Janet Perry

About Jenni Stuart-Anderson

Jenni Stuart-Anderson worked in tourism, PR and architectural design. As a new mum, at home, she discovered rag rug making and got hooked. She has shared these vintage fabric recycling techniques since 1986 and believes in sourcing locally and walking lightly on the planet. Rag Rug Making was her first book, followed by More Rag Rugs & Recycled Textile Projects, aiming to keep the traditional craft alive by bringing it into the 21st  century.

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