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Rag rugs

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:13 am
by Tom H
Inspired by the thread about corn dollies, I thought I'd ask if anyone has come across pre-Victorian references to rag rugs/proggy mats etc. I've read in a couple of short books about them that they've been around since 16th century, but without any references. I'm also wondering if this were the case, what would the main backing material be that the rags are pulled through.

Having made several large rugs using various methods, I'd be interested to see if I could include the activity in earlier period demos.

My feeling though is it's not quite right before 19th century.

Re: Rag rugs

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:21 am
by Miss Costello
Same here, I've often wondered just how far back they go and in what form. There are some very old examples in a museum up near my mother in northumberland.
would be interested to hear what others have to say.

Re: Rag rugs

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:37 pm
by purple peril
Interesting info here. Think they mainly started as an early form of recycling of old fabrics.

Re: Rag rugs

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:00 pm
by Tom H
Just found an excellent book which is hugely helpful on this as well as being a great read and enlightening social history. If you have ever made a rug or thought about doing so I'd recommend "Hook into the Past - The Story of Mat Making in North East England" which seems to be the result of a longer HLF funded project by Newcastle Libraries on this topic. Though a foreword suggests a late 16th century early date without any other supporting evidence, the rest of the book suggests mid-late 19th century beginnnings with a flourishing in early 20th century.

So, having read all this I reckon the much earlier mentions are a different type of rug entirely. I am now suitably inspired to dig out all my rug making kit and produce some more this autumn though.