Memories of a Rag Rug.

Greece
November 24, 2015 1:06pm CST
Tucked away in my needlework box is a rug hook. It hasn't been used for years and I doubt that I will ever use it again, but it has sentimental value. Years ago when re-cycling was done as a matter of course, in times more austere than these, my mother used to make rag rugs. The material used was old clothes and they had to be cut into short lengths and hooked into some kind of webbing which formed the base of the rug. Cutting the material was a long and painful business with scissors that had seen better days. The satisfactory part was hooking the material through the webbing and gradually seeing a rug emerge. Some women were rather artistic in the arrangements of the various colours and types of material used and the rugs were strong and lasted for many years. I remember one story of a house being bombed in WW2 and the rug being found in good shape some distance away. When I had my own home I decided to make a rug for myself. By then wool cut into lengths was available and the base was coloured in a design that was easy to follow. It was a luxury item compared with the ones I knew as a child. I still remember the soft pile and the half moon shape of my rug which I placed in front of the fireplace. The hook I have in my needlework box was used to make that particular rug decades ago, hence the nostalgia. Holding it in my hands again I feel a stirring to put it to use once more...
8 people like this
9 responses
@sofssu (14708)
25 Nov 15
My mom used to make such lovely rugs.. I never learned any of those things from her and I regret it now.
3 people like this
• Greece
25 Nov 15
Never say never the modern ones can be seen and made via internet and I expect you can even buy the equipment in the shops.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (107868)
• Bunbury, Australia
27 Nov 15
Our mothers had a lot of skills I think. Luckily I learnt a few from my Mum.
• Greece
27 Nov 15
@JudyEv My mother taught me to knit, it took ages because I am lefthanded and she was righthanded. Eventually I mastered it but to this day I do not know if I knit her way or mine. But I am rather a slow knitter so I suspect I knit her way.
@marlina (66526)
• Canada
24 Nov 15
My grandmother and Mom used to make the old fashioned rag rug. Lots of work involved there.
3 people like this
• Greece
25 Nov 15
I still remember the round mark of the handle of the scissors on my thumb. It was hard work and the cutting was the worst of all.
1 person likes this
@salonga (28078)
• Philippines
25 Nov 15
A friend of mine makes beautiful rags and she uses this skill to make a rag business and she is making good money out of it.
2 people like this
• Greece
25 Nov 15
They will be about 5 decades removed from the home grown variety my mother used to make!
1 person likes this
@salonga (28078)
• Philippines
25 Nov 15
@41CombedaleRoad that homegrown variety is one of a kind. I think nothing can compare to this.
1 person likes this
@bookbar (1623)
• Sudbury, England
24 Nov 15
I too made a few of those woollen rug kits in my time,as you say quite satisfying as the hook and lock transforms into a pattern and you see results... and yes I do remember those rag rugs and cutting all those damn bits of fabric...
1 person likes this
• Greece
25 Nov 15
My cats would love one of those woollen rugs but to go to such effort just for the comfort of the cats and the pleasure of vacuuming out their fur seems too much effort now.
1 person likes this
@epiffanie (8310)
• Australia
26 Nov 15
You have given me an idea what to make with my kids' old clothes .. ;)
• Greece
26 Nov 15
Get yourself a really sharp pair of scissors first - it will shorten the job and lessen the pressure on your fingers.
@allknowing (58083)
• India
25 Nov 15
Are you therefore giving in to your 'stirring' and bringing that hook to life?
• Greece
26 Nov 15
Not so far because I doubt that they go in for home made rugs here in Greece but next time I am in Athens I will have a look.
1 person likes this
25 Nov 15
i remember my grandmother having a rag rug (or two) and yes, i can see the ability to be creative & now this makes me regret my last declutter of clothes. with all the bright colors, i bet i could make a neat one.
• Greece
26 Nov 15
If there are charity shops in your area you could always go and support them by buying some colourful clothes that would do the job.
@simone10 (22232)
• Louisville, Kentucky
30 Nov 15
I never have learned to make rugs and think it would be interesting to learn.
@JudyEv (107868)
• Bunbury, Australia
27 Nov 15
I can relate to your comment that nothing was wasted. We made 'woggas' which were pretty much patchwork quilts made from the parts of clothing that still had some wear in them. I remember the rag rugs. Some people still make them around here but for craft purposes rather than from necessity. I've also made hooked rugs many years ago. The sort I made ended up with little loops all over them on the 'up' side and you had to snip the loops when you finished.