Monday, 11 April 2011

Rag rugging -my first adventure!

I have just returned from a course on rag rugging and as I have never done it before, I thought that it would be a good idea to keep a record of how I did it before I forgot! Hopefully, others might like to read about how to do this too, but bear in mind that I am a novice!
First, I stapled my hessian to a wooden frame, beginning in the middle of each edge then moving towards the outside. Next, I tucked the extra hessian under so that it is out of the way. It will be needed at the end, for finishing.
You need a hooking tool. At first , I thought I would be able to use an old crochet hook but you need the wooden handle because it is far more comfortable to work with.
I made a hole with my hook, in the hessian ready to pull the fabric strip through. The strips are about a cm wide and it doesn't really matter how long because you cut it to size once you have finished using it. Then holding the fabric beneath the frame with my left hand, I pushed the hook through from the front with my right hand, and hooked the fabric up and through to the front. Stop when it is about 2 cm showing. This is the start of your hooking. Next, count about 3 threads of hessian along and again push the hook through from the front, picking up the strip from  the back and hooking it through. Stop when you have about 1.5-2cm loop.
Again count about 3 threads of hessian and push the hook through, repeating the last step. Keep doing this until you have the amount of the colour or fabric that you want, to make up your design. If you run out before reaching the end of your section, make sure that you finish by pulling the last piece out to the front.
Now you can trim the loops or leave them as they are, depending on your design. I have not yet completed my design but you can see my half finished project, in the next photograph.
Trimmed loops!
 Here I have used ribbon. Below, you can see a wide variety of fabrics and colours which look fab together!
This shows netting which worked much better than I expected. I can now be found scouring charity shops and raiding my daughters wardrobe ( well the floor actually, as this seems to be where she keeps most of her clothes!). I have already cut up loads of my old T shirts. I had a fun time the other day when my middle daughter gave me 2 boxes of old material that she had had during her fashion design course. Now I have begun colour coding my scraps too!

It is quite easy and there are so many other things that you can do to add texture. Liz, the tutor, has made some amazing rugs, wall hangings and cushions using rag rugging. Her designs are vibrant and sumptuous and she is an inspirational teacher.

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