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Rag rugging

www.prodigalrugs.com

Rag rugging is an old skill that has been used for hundreds of years to turn old, unwanted textiles into hard-wearing, decorative rugs. It was particularly popular in the UK in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when most people could not afford to buy carpets or rugs and needed to make their own floor coverings.

Traditionally, people made rag rugs out of a mixture of old clothes and fabric scraps. Having cut the material into strips, they used a special tool to weave the fabric between the strands of a hessian backing (a cloth made from natural fibres). Different colours and types of fabric were woven into patterns to create attractive, colourful designs. Once a design was complete, the strips of fabric were trimmed to the same length for a neat and even finish.

Today the tradition of rag rugging is being kept alive by craftspeople, who use the technique to make decorative wall hangings as well as rugs.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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