Saturday, May 07, 2011

Book Review: Rag Rugs - Old Into New By Debbie Siniska

My most recent book purchase, was, in fact, a set of three...

I was expecting a normal-sized set of books when I purchased these, so was a bit disappointed to receive a set of three stapled booklets with card covers. Each booklet has 36 pages and is filled with plenty of diagrams and colour photos of work in progress and of finished pieces. Size 8 1/4" (21 cm) high x 5 7/8" (15 cm) wide.

Book 1 looks at tools and materials.
There is a brief history of rag rugs, followed by descriptions of the tools used in making them. The rug hook, bodger, peg, latchette hook, shuttle hook, scissors, cutting wheels, frames etc are shown with a paragraph of description. The author describes choosing and obtaining textiles to use; backing fabrics; methods of marking out designs; and use of colour.

Book 2 covers techniques and starter projects.
One or two pages are devoted to each of the tools described in Book 1, also making simple tassels, and how to braid and coil rugs. Next are sections on finishing your rug and ways to display it and clean it. Some small project ideas will get you started:- flower brooch, herb pillow, memory mat, and seat mat.

Book 3 contains further projects to try.
There are instructions for making a child's mat, celebratory banner, wall panel, braided mat, welcome mat, flower bag, and penny patch rug. There are some sections at the back of the booklet for stockists, rag rug makers and places of interest to rag rug makers to visit.

In summary: I'm glad to add these to my collection of books on making rugs, and they are a useful basic overview for someone new to the subject. They cover, in brief, a good range of techniques and styles, which should provide the initial inspiration needed to give rag rug making a go.

I'm not sure why this material was split into three booklets, rather than a single book, as you would really want to have all three to complete the 'course'. The pattern line drawings are pretty tiny - you will need to be good at enlarging designs to make use of them.
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