Thursday, August 15, 2013

Three Flowers Rag Rug Wall Hanging

I finally finished my rag rug wall hanging (or rug!), made from repurposed clothing, cut into strips and hooked through a linen back cloth.


The linen back cloth is secured in a wooden frame. The design is drawn on using a Sharpie felt pen. Huge mounds of used, laundered clothing are assembled ready for recycling. (I think I used parts from around 30 t-shirts, tops, and a pair of leggings and a jersey duvet for this piece.) The garments are cut into strips using a sharp pair of dressmaking scissors. The strips measure from 1/4 - 1/2 an inch in width. I usually fold the strips in half if they are thin fabrics (eg, t-shirts), or use 'as is' if thick (such as sweatshirt fabric).


A hand hook (much like a large crochet hook set into a wooden handle) is used to pull the fabric strips into loops through the loose weave of the back cloth. You can hook in any direction, either straight lines or swirls, so I chose to do some of each in this piece. I tend to place the colours as I go along rather than planning in advance, and improvise if I run out of a particular colour.


Hand hooking can take a long time, so I just worked for an hour or so at a time over a year or so to finish this rug.


When the piece is finished, you can add a mitred border of cotton webbing to the reverse to hide the raw edges of the linen and to give extra strength to the edges. I decided to give the added option of wall hanging for this piece, so sawed some wooden batons to length for the top and bottom of the rug. Velcro is attached by stitching, to the webbing on the reverse,  and also to the wooden batons, using wood glue and staples. The wood can then be screwed to the wall and the rug pressed into place. If you want to use the piece as a rug, then the soft side of the velcro is on the reverse, and the wooden batons are not used.


The rug is for sale in the Fire Horse Textiles shop.
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