Watercolour Brushstroke Inspired Rag Rug

Here at Ragged Life, 2020 has been full of new and exciting rag rug projects despite the world going to rack and ruin. I’ve experimented with everything from basic upholstery with my Rag Rug Laundry Basket to fashion in the form of my Rag Rug Jacket.

However, no matter how many new ideas we have swimming around, we never lose love for the simple, classic rag rug. There’s a reason it’s a classic after all! Our latest design is a square 140 x 140cm watercolour brushstroke inspired rag rug. Here’s what it looks like…

When we first posted a sneak peek on the Ragged Life Facebook page, some of you weren’t all that sure about the colour scheme. Fortunately, I like it (which is probably the most important thing), but I’m starting to think that it may be a Marmite rug – you either love it or hate it.

The Design

The rag rug design itself was inspired by the brushstrokes in a watercolour doodle. The intention was to recreate the free flow effect of watercolours without losing intensity.

To make the rug, I first hemmed a piece of Ragged Life XL Hessian into a 140 x 140cm square. I then freehand sketched the design onto the hessian. Next, I had rummage around in my fabric collection and planned out which colours would go where. This was particularly challenging as lockdown meant that I was limited to the colours I had to hand. As you can see from the final rug, the colour palette I chose is not very watercolour-esque. I chose bold colours to fill the “brushstrokes”.

After I had established the design, I had to find someone who was up for the challenge of making it (I was busy with my own project at the time). Well luckily Ragged Life has a great team of talented rag ruggers, including the wonderful Sany. Here’s how she rag rugged the watercolour rag rug…

Sany’s Process

The first thing Sany did was mark out which colour section was which. This definitely took a bit of organisation. Sany cut a strip of each colour and pinned it to the section it belonged to. This helped her to visualise where each colour would go and made it a lot easier when it came to rag rugging.

two sections finished rag rug work in progress
Here you can see the different coloured strips pinned to each section.

After the design prep, Sany worked one colour at a time, in no particular order.

rag rug with fabric and materials work in progress

She rag rugged each section using the Short Shaggy technique.

work in progress rag rug with materials

Some of the colours belonged in more than one of the sections so she did these together.

Other sections required blending two different fabrics/colours to create dappled effect of watercolour.

two colour blocks work in progress rag rug

If you look carefully here you can see the different colour shades used within the same section.

In progress photos:

Here are a few in-progress photos of the rug…

The finished rag rug:

And here it is, the finished product…

And finally some close up shots…

Thanks for reading! What did you think of our watercolour paint inspired rag rug? Comment below to let us know if you’re a lover or a hater. I won’t be offended as you can never please everyone. Or, if you’d like to be the first to see more of our rag rug makes, why not join our Rag Rug Community on Facebookfollow us on Instagram or sign up for our fortnightly newsletter here.


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As always, happy rag rugging!

Elspeth x

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3 years ago

I like the watercolour rug, it’s easy to transfer into any colour scheme.

John goodchild
John goodchild
3 years ago

I love abstract it is a great. Rug

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