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Discover the History and Art of Rag Rugs

Aug 15, 2008
Are you someone who is always trying to discover new and creative ideas? Then you should go in for the rag rugs. These rag rugs are beautiful, innovative and made of recycled material. There is no expense involved as you can use all your old throwaway materials. Nowadays the clamoring for preserving the environment has made everyone aware of using environment friendly items. Thus rag rugs are very much in demand as well.

What are Rag Rugs?

In the 19th century there were some communities like the Amish and Shakers who believed in living simple lives and no wastage. The womenfolk made designs and patterns using old clothes and rags which later were used for decorating homes. The early Americans used these rag rugs as a means of covering the holes on the walls of their cabins. This also proved to be a good way of training young girls to learn stitching.

These rag rugs were used as items for everyday use and mostly laid upside down excepting on occasions when there were visitors who viewed the cleaner and brighter side. These rag rugs were shunted from one room to the other and became tattered with the daily wear and tear. They were used as rugs for the kitchen or as beds for dogs until considered totally unusable. These products which were used as necessity items later became a decorative piece and started gaining prominence as a serious art.

Why are Rag Rugs in Demand?

You can be very creative when making these rag rugs and now there are several companies who are into these businesses. Some view these rag rugs as decorative items for their homes while for others it is a historical memorabilia and yet for others they are items meant for personal collections.

Method Used to Make Rag Rugs

During the ancient times the early Americans made these rugs by plaiting old cloth strips and coiling them around like a giant table mat while the Scandinavians handwove them on looms. The material that was used for making these rugs were old jute feed sacks that served as backing through which the strips of cloth were hooked onto or poked into. Designs were drawn on these sacks after they were washed.

Tips to Help You Make Your Own Rag Rugs

If you wish to make a rag rug yourself you can check the internet for various sites that have instructions. The rag rugs can be made from various fabrics such as cotton, silk, wool or rayon but you should never use a mixture of different fabrics as the amount of shrinkage varies in each fabric. Make sure that you wash your fabrics before you begin your rug making process. For softer rugs you can choose soft materials and hard fabrics will give you a much coarser rug. You can also dye the fabric if you desire any particular color.
About the Author
April Kerr owns website Vintage Fabric Supply which has details of where to buy antique tablecloths and antique pillowcases .
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