The Rise of the Rag Rug

We’re excited and honoured to have been featured in Sandra Smith’s “From Junk to Jewels” article in this month’s edition of Hertfordshire Life. The piece focusses on the wonderful world of upcycling, showcasing our Ragged Life wares amongst gorgeous patchwork chairs from Kelly Swallow (, fabulous shabby chic furniture from Brand Designs Online and Love and Lilac ( & and upcycled timepieces from Vyconic ( It’s amazing to see the lovely, handmade treasures that can be found locally so before you pop over to Ikea for your next home purchase, see what unique bits and bobs are just around the corner.

Who knew there were so many talented upcyclers in Hertfordshire! You can take a look at the magazine spread and read the “Rise of the Rag Rug” article below. Enjoy!

 From Junk to Jewels by Sandra Smith

We may live in an era of designer labels and flourishing boutiques and upmarket stores, but the reinvention of old objects has never been so popular. From fabric and furniture to wood and wheels, there’s the potential for new life in many things. So before you’re tempted to throw out that “old junk”, take a look at how creative people in Hertfordshire are making reinvention chic.

The Rise of the Rag Rug

For anyone planning to venture into the world of upcycling, a rag rug or cushion is a great place to start. The craft (shown right and opening page), originated in mining areas in England and is simple to learn according to Elspeth Jackson (left) who runs workshops at Great Wymondley. She says, “A make-do-and-mend attitude is coming back into fashion and rag rugging is easy to do at home. There’s no limit on the size or shape and different types of fabric create an appealing texture.”

Unwanted material is cut into strips and woven through a hessian backing via one of two techniques: “Shaggy” is more traditional and what one would associate with a rag rug. The “loopy style” enables people to design more patterns like landscapes and flowers, Jackson explains.

Any unwanted fabric or old clothes can be used, so rugs can even offer a sentimental way of upcycling clothing which is no longer used but to precious to discard.

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