100% Wool Blanket Yarn for Rag Rugging

A year ago or so, I was wandering around the Knitting and Stitching when I came across a stand that was selling lots of lovely yarns and silks. I was having a bit of rummage around when I came across a solitary hank of blanket yarn. It wasn’t really a material that I’d considered rag rugging with (probably because I hadn’t come across it before), but I was drawn in by its gorgeous texture, softness and quality. The stand only had one hank left, so I bought it for a little experimentation. I forgot about it for a few weeks (as happens after a big show like the Knitting and Stitching Show), but when I finally got around to rag rugging with it, I was in love from the very first row. Here’s that first blanket yarn cushion in all it’s glory…

The Original Blanket Yarn Cushion:

Upcycled Blanket Yarn Rag Rug Cushion

I was so pleased with how the blanket yarn looked when it was loopy rag rugged.

Hooky Rag Rug Cushion made using woolen blanket offcuts

I was surprised by what an intricate pattern the blanket yarn created. This was a plaid yarn.

Close up of what blanket yarn looks like when it's loopy rag rugged

And here you can really see the detail…

The problem was, after I’d run out of that original hank of blanket yarn, I didn’t know where I could get my hands on more of it. I waited until the next Knitting and Stitching Show to see whether I could get it there, but annoyingly there wasn’t a single ball or hank anywhere to be found. So, in traditional Elspeth fashion, I decided to go out in search of it myself.. and finally I’ve found a good supply of it!!! I’ve now got my hands on my first order of 100% wool blanket yarn, which I’d love to share with you all 🙂

So, what makes this Blanket Yarn so great?

1) It’s 100% wool, so it’s not only super soft, but also excellent quality. It’s an absolute pleasure to work with, and any rug or cushion made in blanket yarn will last for generations.

2) Fabric yarn comes pre-cut into strips, which saves on cutting time. We recommend cutting the strips in half for ease of use and to make them go further, but that takes considerably less time than breaking down any item of clothing into strips.

3) It looks gorgeous when rag rugged. The texture and depth of the fabric is just lovely (I’ve never made anything that hasn’t looked great in this yarn!)

4) It’s sustainable. Our blanket yarn is made from offcuts from blanket production in Yorkshire, so you can rest assured that every ball you use is recycling.

5) It goes far. Blanket yarn is thick, which means that it covers the hessian much quicker than most fabrics. This means that you can rag rug further apart and your rag rug creation will be done in no time.

So, where can I buy it and what’s the deal?

I’ve listed the new blanket yarn on the Ragged Life Shop but, as it’s pretty much pot-luck what colours I’m sent through from the mill, I’ve listed it to be bought in 500g or 1kg lots based on colour – Pinks, Blues, Neutrals or Mixed.

When you order 500g or 1kg of blanket yarn, you will get a random selection of complementary shades, but if you particularly like any of the specific blanket yarns in the photos, you can write the individual names down when you check out and we will endeavour to take your preferences into consideration. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to do this all the time as we have a very limited number of each and cannot guarantee availability.

Below is where you can buy the different blanket yarns: 

Blanket Yarn Pinks:

Buy 500g or 1kg here: https://raggedlife.com/collections/shop/products/blanket-yarn-pink

Pink and Purple Blanket Yarn for rag rugs in balls

We have a number of different hanks of pretty pink blanket yarn.

Blanket Yarn Blues:

Buy 500g or 1kg here: https://raggedlife.com/collections/shop/products/blanket-yarn-blue

Blue Blanket Yarn for rag rugs in balls

We got through some gorgeous blue blanket yarns.

Blanket Yarn Neutrals:

Buy 500g or 1kg here: https://raggedlife.com/collections/shop/products/blanket-yarn-neutrals

Grey, brown and cream balls of blanket yarn for rug making and knitting

I’m totally on board with the scandi chic look as most of you know and these blanket yarns would look gorgeous together in any rag rug project.

Blanket Yarn Mixed:

Buy 500g or 1kg here: https://raggedlife.com/collections/shop/products/blanket-yarn-mixed-colours

Balls of multicoloured and plaid blanket yarn for craft

I got through some gorgeous bits of multicoloured blanket yarn.

So, that’s where you can buy the fabric yarn, but you may still have a few questions…

Frequently Asked Blanket Yarn Questions: 

Can I do both the loopy and shaggy rag rug techniques with this blanket yarn?
  • Yes, of course! You can see a few examples throughout this blog post, but here are work-in-progress and finished photos of both techniques:

Loopy Rag Rugging with Blanket Yarn:

Blue and white blanket yarn rag rugged into a cushion cover.

Here you can see what the rag rugging looks like when it’s work in progress.

And here is the same cushion when it was finished:

Blanket Yarn Cushion front rag rugged in the loopy technique

Here you can see what it looks like when the entire cushion front is rag rugged in one tartan ball of blanket yarn.

Shaggy Rag Rugging with Blanket Yarn:

Below are a few photos of our first shaggy rag rug made using a selection of neutral and blue-coloured blanket yarns (think scandi chic!). Firstly, a work-in-progress photo:

Part made handmade rag rug in the shaggy technique

Here you can see what the rug looked like when it was only partially rag rugged.

And here you can see what it looked like when it was finished:

Blanket yarn shaggy traditional handmade rag rug made with 100% wool

This is the first shaggy rag rug we’ve every made in our lovely blanket yarn. We were so pleased with how it turned out and how quickly it built up!

Cosy Blanket Yarn Proggy Rug

Blanket yarn has such a warm, cosy feel to it.

Are the rag rugging techniques different when you use blanket yarn?
  • No, not at all. You use the same loopy and shaggy techniques of rag rugging as you would with any other fabric. The only slight difference is that the blanket yarn is thicker so you will need to rag rug a bit further apart than normal to compensate for the thickness. The plus side of this is that it, therefore, takes a lot less time to fill the hessian using blanket yarn than it does using mixed fabrics. Here is comparison of how many rows it took to make two equal sized 100 x 60cm shaggy rugs – one in blanket yarn and one in mixed fabrics:
Fabric calculations for shaggy rag rugging with blanket yarn

This blanket yarn rug took 64 rows of shaggy rag rugging to complete.

Black and white random shaggy rag rug from the back on the hessian

It’s a little difficult to count the rows in this rug but when I finally managed (third try!), I counted 87 rows, which is a lot denser than the blanket yarn rug.

As well as the rows being more spaced apart, the spacing between one strip and the next in each row was also wider with the blanket yarn rug, which saves time and fabric:

Back of a rag rug done in the shaggy technique on hessian

With blanket yarn, you have to space your strips further apart to prevent the rug from curling when it is finished.

How much space to leave between strips when doing shaggy rag rugging

Although the spacing varies a bit across the rug, it is reasonably consistent.

Back of a Handmade Shaggy rag rug made in black and white material

The mixed material rag rug has to be rag rugged much denser to compensate for the different thicknesses of fabric in it (mainly cottons and jerseys, but some chiffons etc…)

How much blanket yarn do I need to make a cushion/ rug?
  • It’s hard to give an exact answer to this question, as how far your blanket yarn goes depends on a number of variables (which of the rag rug techniques you’re doing, how high you are making your loops or how long you cut your strips, how far apart you’re spacing your rag rugging etc…), but we did a small test and our standard 40 x 40cm cushion cover took 312g of Pink Magenta blanket yarn to fully rag rug in the loopy technique:

Blanket Yarn Calculations – Loopy Rag Rugging: 

A cushion cover made entirely using pink blanket yarn and rag rugged in the loopy technique

This 40x40cm cushion cover took 312g of blanket yarn when done in the loopy technique… This was done in one particular pink “Pink Magenta” but you could use a variety of shades to make a more interesting design.

Based on those numbers, it would take approximately 1,170 grams (1.17kg) of blanket yarn to cover one of our standard 100 x 60cm rugs hessian in loopy rag rugging.

Blanket Yarn Calculations – Shaggy Rag Rugging: 

Our first 100 x 60cm shaggy rag rug took 2.3kg of blanket yarn to complete. Below you can see a break down of exactly how much of each of the Ragged Life blanket yarns we used:

Blue and grey handmade shaggy rag rug on hessian with wide stripes

Our first standard sized 100 x 60cm shaggy rag rug took 2.3kg of blanket yarn to make.

Neutral and blue colour blanket yarn shaggy rag rugging up close

Here you can see exactly what each different blanket yarn looked when it was rag rugged.

Woollen rag rug made using 100% wool in blues and greys

Here you can see the far end of the rug.

Balls of blanket yarn and the grams of each that went into a shaggy rag rug

These were the ingredients that went into making our first blanket yarn shaggy rag rug. 

Based on those numbers, it would take approximately 614 grams of blanket yarn to cover one of our standard 40 x 40cm cushion hessian in shaggy rag rugging (although this is just an estimate until we can make one for the first time).

Can I start rag rugging straight away or is there anything I have to do with the blanket yarn first to prepare?

Although the blanket yarn comes pre-cut into strips, the widths of the strips vary and most are a little bit too wide to comfortably rag rug with. Before starting, we recommend that you sometimes cut your strips in half to make them narrower and easier to pull through the hessian. This will also make your yarn go further 🙂

Balls of pink blanket yarn with pink rag rugging

Here you can see that we cut the strips of the ball on the right in half lengthways to make them narrower and easier to rag rug with to make our pink cushion cover.

Narrow Strips of Blue Blanket Yarn

Although most of the blanket yarns will have strips that are a bit too wide, some are the perfect width like this one here.

As blanket yarn is made from the offcuts of blanket production, there are unusable parts on each ball (you can see the strands in many of the photos above). These strands occur roughly every 120cm along each strip of blanket yarn so will need to be cut out either before you start rag rugging or as you go.

Ball of Recycled Pink Blanket Yarn

Here you can see the aforementioned strands in the centre of the ball of blanket yarn. These occur roughly every 120cm.

Pink Fabric Yarn Strips

Here you can see the strands a bit better.

If I buy a ball of blanket yarn which has patches of other colour in it, will I be able to see the different colours when I start rag rugging?

One of the nicest things about blanket yarn is that you don’t need to do anything intricate design-wise because the patterns within the yarn do a lot of the work for you. Both of the below clutch bags were rag rugged using tartan fabric yarn, for example, and you can see how they become a blend of the different colours in the plaid. This variation in colour means that you can rag rug a cushion cover or rug entirely in one fabric if you want to and it will look interesting and complex.

Red tartan loopy rag rugged clutch bag

This side of the clutch bag was rag rugged entirely in one red, green and yellow tartan.

Red Tartan Blanket Offcuts Work in Progress

Here you can see up close what the loopy rag rugging looks like.

Blue Tartan Rag Rug Bag done in the loopy technique of rag rugging

And the other side of the bag was done in a simple blue blanket yarn. I love how the little specks of white show through.

Tartan and Silver Rag Rug Clutch Bag

The flap of this clutch bag was done in a yarn which had a mixture of blue, brown and black in it.

Do you think the quality will be better/ will my cushion/ rug… last better using this instead of using old clothing or other fabrics?

Absolutely! Even though I use absolutely any fabrics in my rag rug projects (yes, I truly mean anything), there’s no doubt in my mind that the better the quality of fabrics that you put in a rug, the longer it is likely to last. As all of our blanket yarns are 100% wool, they’ll be extremely hard-wearing in a rug or cushion.

Is the finish different to using clothing/ other fabrics?

Yes, blanket yarn gives a much softer and plusher finish. It feels much thicker than most fabrics, which makes it soft and springy 🙂 It’s hard to show clearly exactly how cosy rag rugged blanket yarn is, but don’t you just want to sink your hands into this rag rugging:

Traditional rag rug made using 100% woollen materials, including blanket offcuts

Soooo cosy!!!

Do you recommend rag rugging projects with blanket yarn? E.g. if I wanted to make a basket trim or flower rather than a cushion or rug?

There’s no reason why you couldn’t use blanket yarn for absolutely any rag rug project, but design-wise I think it looks best in larger projects (wreath size and upwards). It’s hard to be dainty with blanket yarn (as it’s so thick and cosy), so it would be difficult to create a light floaty look with it. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend blanket yarn for the rag rug bouquets and rag rug basket trims, for example.

If you’d like to be the first to hear about new rag rug products or to see our new creations first, why not join our Rag Rug Community on Facebook for advice, resources and gorgeous rag rug photos: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RagRugCommunity/

Or connect with us on social media at:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/raggedlife/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/raggedliferagrugs/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/raggedlife/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/raggedlife

Ragged Life Rag Rug Inspiration on Instagram

We’ve got lots of beautiful rag rug designs for you to take inspiration from on our social media channels.

Happy rag rugging everyone!

Elspeth x

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