An A-Z of Rag Rugging

Here at Ragged Life we love all things rag rugging and we’re constantly feeling inspired to create new and exciting projects. It was this thought that got me thinking about all the different rag rug related ideas we’ve had over the years. So, this week I challenged myself to find something Ragged Life related for every letter of the alphabet. Yes, I do get my kicks in strange ways. Here it is…

A- Ammonite Rug

This rug is an oldie but a goodie. It’s made entirely from bright Ugandan print cottons. The pattern is inspired by the intricate details of ammonite fossils.

B- Burlap / Hessian

This is an item we are very familiar with… and use a lot of! Burlap is the American name for “hessian”. Aka the backbone or “canvas” of all of our rag rug projects. Historically, it was used for rag rugging because it was commonly available (they used to repurpose old potato sacks) and very strong, and we still use it to this day. Watch our Introduction to the Rag Rug Tools video for a little explanation of things to watch out for when buying top quality burlap for yourself. Or save yourself the effort and get our Ragged Life approved hessian here.

C- Cushions

It is safe to say that we are big fans of a cosy rag rug cushion. They are a beautiful addition to the home and work great to add a pop of colour to a room. You can get your hands on a Ragged Life Cushion Kit or Pre-hemmed Cushion Hessian on the Ragged Life Online Shop if you fancy making one for yourself.

Tip: Don’t use fabrics that shed a lot when making rag rug cushions. If you do, you’ll continually be lint rollering yourself and your sofa.

D- Draft Excluder

At times, it can get a little drafty indoors, particularly when Storm Ciara is battering outside. Well, rag rugging is an amazingly effective item for insulation. The layers of fabric in the shaggy technique are perfect for keeping out unwanted gusts of wind and also dust and dirt. Our draft excluder project is in our book “Rag Rugs, Pillows & More” if you’re interested in giving it a go. It’s washable too.

E- Eco-Friendly

One of our favourite things about rag rugging is the ability to recycle unwanted clothes and fabrics into practical and beautiful pieces. A single 100 x 60cm shaggy rag rug uses up around 20 medium sized t-shirts worth of fabric (yes, it’s a lot!), so you’re really doing your bit for the planet by giving all that fabric a second life. For more textile waste reducing tips, read our blog post written in conjunction with Love Your Clothes and WRAP here. Or for tips on how to break down clothing into strips to rag rug, watch our How to Make Fabric Strips for a Rag Rug video.

F- Flower Bouquet

Ideal for rag rug beginners and experts alike, our timeless rag rug flower bouquets make great use of those tiny scraps of fabric you’ve been saving. These everlasting bouquets are a beautiful addition to your mantlepiece or kitchen table. Plus, no need to spruce them up or water them 🙂 Browse our bouquet blog post for more designs or pick up a kit or hessian pack over on the Ragged Life Shop.

G- Gauge

A rag rug gauge is a great time-saving tool that helps to speed up the process of cutting strips to the correct length for shaggy rag rugging. It’s genuinely amazing how much time and effort it saves you in the fabric prep stage. Check out our blog post on how to use a rag rug gauge here or watch our handy video tutorial here.

H- Headband

If you want a quick, fun rag rug project to complete then you don’t get much better than our rag rug headbands. They’re the perfect accessory to dress up your summer wardrobe or just to have a play around with fabric. Check out our blog post about our different headband designs here.

I- Inspiration

We get our creative inspiration from a wide array of different sources… travel, art, country walks, books, other textile artists and more. To us sharing is caring, and we love to share this inspiration with our community of rag ruggers and textile enthusiasts. So on that note, here is a recent post we wrote on Boucherouite Rugs for a spot of inspiration now and if you’d like fortnightly inspiration sent directly to you, you might want to sign up for our Inspiration Newsletter here 🙂

J- Jersey Fabric

When you’re thinking about recycling your old clothes, jersey fabric is one of the best fabrics to put aside for a future rag rug project. As a smooth, soft fabric, it is an absolute dream to work with. Sometimes the elastic in the fabric makes the pieces of rag rugging tube up, which adds a whole other texture to the piece.

K- Knitting and Stitching Shows

If you’ve followed Ragged Life for a little while then you’ll know that we’re regulars at the Knitting and Stitching Shows in London and Harrogate. For us, it’s the exhibitions that set the Knitting and Stitching Shows apart from other large craft shows. It’s great to see textile artists’ work on display, as well as being able to shop. For a better feel of the show, you can see more of our photos in our blog post here.

L- Loopy Technique

The loopy rag rugging technique (sometimes called “hooky”) gives a tighter and neater look to achieve more intricate designs. For a how-to guide on the loopy rag rug technique, read our instructional blog post here or watch our youtube tutorial video.

M- Monsters

Our Rag-a-Monster Kids Kit is ideal for children aged between 7-12 to get hands-on and crafty. The kit is designed to make rag rugging easy for children (with child-friendly tools and pre-cut fabric) and makes one cute or scary Rag-a-Monster, which they can customise to their hearts desire. Get your hands on a kit here.

N- Nautical Themed

The first nautical themed piece we ever made is the simple, striped cushion below. It’s made using some of my grandad’s shirts, which makes it extra personal. Since then, we’ve experimented with a few different nautical-styles, including this Pacific Island Inspired rag rug and waves. It’s a theme we come back to time and time again because it looks at home in most interiors. Plus, who doesn’t like blue? We’ve even inspired a few of you to make your own Nautical-inspired pieces, like Joyce’s mat below. Anyone else love a nautical theme?

O- Original

One of the many things to love about this craft is that each and every rag rug project is different and unique. In my opinion, it makes it that bit more special to know that what you have made is truly one of a kind. No two pieces can ever be exactly the same.

P- Personalised Rag Rug Letters

One of the first non-rug projects I ever made was a personalised rag rug letter. A letter “E” for Elspeth if you must know 🙂 Yes, that’s slightly predictable. I was soon addicted as they’re such a quick, fun project that can be done in a couple of evenings (or one if you’re me). You can find instructions on how to make these rag rug letters in our book “Rag Rugs, Pillows & More”. We’ve rag rugged the whole alphabet by now, so get in touch if you need any tips on specific letters 🙂

Q- Q&As

Every month, we feature a textile artist or rag rugger in a Q&A on the Ragged Life Blog as a way to inspire us all. We love getting insight into their creative processes, different mediums and daily lives. To gasp in awe at some of our past Q&As, click here. Below is the gorgeous work of our recent Q&Aer, Trish Andersen, for example.

R- Ragged Life Community

Our community of crafters are at the heart of Ragged Life. We love to share our projects and designs with you just as much as we enjoy seeing all the incredible and creative things you have made (so do send your creations to hello@raggedlife.com) If you aren’t already and would like to join our Ragged Life community on Facebook or Instagram, click the links. Or join our fortnightly newsletter here.

S- Shaggy Technique

The shaggy rag rug technique creates the ‘fluffiest’ aesthetic, the kind of rug that just makes you want to sink your feet into it. For a how-to guide on the shaggy rag rug technique, view our instructional blog post here or watch our YouTube tutorial.

T- Trivet

In our half day rag rug workshops, students learn how to rag rug by making a simple, jolly trivet. They’re by far one of the best projects to practice all three techniques of rag rugging and the final result makes for a gorgeous pot stand for the kitchen or even just a lovely accessory to stitch to a bag. We particularly love it when people make beautiful sunflower trivets. What colours would you choose?

U- Ultimate Rag Rug Kit

The Ultimate Rag Rug Kit is for those who are looking for all the very best tools to be able to start on their rag rugging journey. There’s really nothing more you could possibly need, as it includes all the very best tools and instructions, as well as a book with over 30 rag rug projects and super sharp rag rug scissors! If you’re new to rag rugging, the Ultimate Kit will start you off right.

V- Versatility

We have shown here how versatile the craft of rag rugging is. There are endless possibilities of things you can create. We know that we haven’t thought of ‘everything’, so if you have some unique designs you’d like to share, we’d love to see them. You can join our Facebook Community here or email hello@raggedlife.com.

W- Workshops

We love to pass on our craft to other textile lovers. So, we run several workshops throughout the county in the form of both half and full day classes. These classes offer the opportunity to learn all the basics of rag rugging with 1-2-1 help and plenty of tea and biscuits. For a bit more information about our workshops or to view what we have coming up click here.

X- X-perimental

Ok, so this one is a bit of a cheat but finding words beginning with X is hard! Rag Rugging allows you to experiment with colours, textures and techniques. The more confident you get, the more you’re willing to step outside the box and go wild. Everyone has their wild “I’d love to try that” idea. You just need the confidence to give it a go 🙂

Y- Yarns

Our cosy Blanket Yarn has fast become one of our favourite materials to rag rug with for a number of reasons. It is 100% wool, meaning its super soft, as well as being pre-cut into strips, which makes rag rugging a doddle! We have hundreds of balls of recycled blanket yarn on our shelves at the Ragged Life HQ and you can get a sneak peak of how we store them in our craft storage blog post here. Or, if you’d like to purchase any of our gorgeous shades of blanket yarn head over to our Ragged Life Online Shop to browse colours.

Z- Zone Out and Relax

This refers to rag rugging’s amazing ability to offer a relaxing escape from reality. I know lots of us find it a therapeutic process to be able to switch off and get into our own creative zone.

Cup of Coffee with Colourful shaggy proggy rag rug underneath

Thanks for reading folks. That’s it for our A-Z of Rag Rugging. I hope you enjoyed it and thought it was fun! Comment below if you can think of a better word we could have used for “X”. Trust us, it was hard!

If you’d like to be the first to hear about new rag rug projects, why not join our Rag Rug Community on Facebook or join our fortnightly newsletter here. Thanks for staying tuned as always.

OR CONNECT WITH US ON SOCIAL MEDIA AT:

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As always, happy rag rugging!

Elspeth x

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