As many of you know, I was taught how to rag rug by my darling mum, Victoria. She still makes beautiful rag rugs (you can see another one of her other creations here) and is a colour-lover like myself. Below is her latest gorgeous creation and, as usual, she has outdone herself. If you like the rug, please do comment at the bottom of the post as she’ll be so pleased 🙂
THE STORY BEHIND THE RAG RUG:
For those of you who live outside the U.K, for us Brits, this Summer has been one of the hottest on record. My mum and I are avid rag ruggers, so very few things put us off, but this weather has definitely had us thinking twice about picking up our tools and submersing ourselves in fabric. Where rag rugs are super cosy and snuggly in Autumn, Winter and Spring, they’re not quite so fun when it’s over 30 degrees outside.
Well, my mum was determined to keep rag rugging, so decided to make a Summer-inspired rag rug in light materials with a bright and summery feel. Colour-wise, she was inspired by the water glasses below (sometimes inspiration comes from the weirdest of places) and she wanted to make a checked rag rug in bright, jewel shades.
Although Victoria says that the glasses were her main inspiration, I suspect that the rug may have also been slightly inspired by her recent travels to India… there are just so many beautiful colours over there which I’m sure played a part 🙂
DETAILS ON THE RAG RUG ITSELF:
Victoria used one of our Ragged Life standard 100 x 60cm Medium Sized Rug Hessian and sketched the patchwork design directly onto the hessian using a marker pen and long ruler. In the end, there were 144 squares in total, 16 rows of 9 squares. Checked rugs are quite satisfying to make as they’re easy to portion up. My mum decided that she would rag rug one row of 9 squares at a time and completed the rug in just over a month of casual rag rugging… Not too shabby!
Shaggy rag rugging is a gorgeous technique that creates rugs with a beautiful, thick plush feel. Unfortunately, however, due to the length of the fabric pieces used in shaggy rag rugging, patterns can become distorted and lose their definition. Victoria really wanted to make a checked rug in the shaggy technique, but she wanted the edges of the squares to remain relatively crisp and not blend into random blobs.
With that in mind, she decided to do the rug in the “short shaggy” technique of rag rugging… a technique that she actually made up, but has become a firm favourite amongst the Ragged Life team. We’ll be sharing more details and photos on how to do the “Short Shaggy” technique of rag rugging in an upcoming blog post, but basically it’s a hybrid form of rag rugging that creates a shorter layer of shaggy rag rugging without pieces having to be individually cut shorter (which would be pretty slow and laborious). Hooray for innovation!
Inspired by the beautiful jewel colours of the glasses above, Victoria wanted rich, deep colours and sari silk ribbon fit the bill perfectly. For those of you who haven’t worked with it before, sari silk ribbon is made from recycled saris and generally comes in skeins of strips that vary in thickness. Although some parts of the ribbon were the perfect width, others had to be cut into two of three pieces lengthwise to fit properly through the hessian. Some of the strands of ribbon were so thin that they were easy to accidentally pull right through… oops… it happens to the best of us!
Although the majority of the materials in the rug were sari silk ribbon, Victoria also used other garments for variety (and to save on cost as sari silk can be expensive!). One item of clothing she used was a purple satin crazy patchwork top that was a nightmare to deconstruct, but was worth it in the end. She also used a bit of bedding inside… everything was recycled of course.
Victoria weighed the finished rug and the original hessian to work out roughly how much fabric she used in the entire rug. Apparently it took approximately 943g of fabric in the short shaggy technique. That’s a lot less than your traditional shaggy rag rug. Sari silk is a particularly light fabric, so each sari silk ribbon square only took about 6 grams of fabric to fill.
So, that’s enough of a blurb on the actual rug itself, you probably want to see what it turned out like. I’ve included some work in progress photos, so you can see how the rag rug progressed too.
MUM’S BEAUTIFUL SARI SILK RAG RUG:
WORK IN PROGRESS PHOTOS:
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As always, happy rag rugging!