Saturday, 5 January 2013

Rag rugs

Rag rug made by Glen Wellstead £80. Three bears by Lindsey Agostinelli.
 Handmade Happiness has four rag rugs at the moment. This one is particularly pretty. Of all the handmade items in the shop the rag rugs provoke the most conversation. Seeing them brings back memories for many people of either their granny or sometimes themselves making rugs from the family's worn out clothing.

This idea of make-do-and-mend is appealing. People want to save money and to re-cycle. The difference between then and now is that people had to re-use items that we would perhaps now throw away and give to charity shops, especially during the war. So Dad's old suits and laddered stockings would be used in rag rugs. Now people want to make something more colourful and will go out of their way to find cotton waste like old t-shirts which give a more pleasing to the eye effect. I suppose you could argue that the modern approach is a bit more contrived.

A friend is doing a 'crazy patchwork' course today. When telling her that I love the jewel colours from bits of velvet and silk in traditional crazy patchwork as well as the contrasting embroidery I realise that this again would be contrived today. Was Victorian crazy patchwork a way of using up the bits of left over fabrics from having their clothes made for them? Or did ladies deliberately choose new fabrics they thought would look nice and buy new? And which result is the more appealing? 

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