Over the long Easter weekend, I had the chance to do something I’d wanted to try for a long time – the old British craft of rag rugging!
I was given the opportunity to take part in an online workshop on rag rugging, thanks to Elspeth, the owner of Ragged Life. She kindly sent me (and my 9-year old daughter) a rag rug kit through the post and during the workshop I was able to learn and attempt two different rag rug techniques.
The kit contained three different types of fabric, a hessian square, a latch hook, a rag rug spring tool, a rag rug gauge and a copy of Elspeth’s excellent book, Rag Rugs, Pillows & More.
The workshop was hosted on Zoom with Elspeth, myself and four other UK craft bloggers in attendance. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to follow Elspeth’s instructions and chat with all the participants. No technical hitches whatsoever!
Elspeth firstly explained what all the pieces in the kit were for and then we set to work preparing our fabric. That involved trimming off seams and cutting strips of the same size using the simple, but extremely useful, rag rug gauge – see the above pic.
Then we set about learning two techniques, known in the rag rugging world as shaggy and loopy. The dark outside edge you can see above was created by pulling fabric lengthways through the hessian. The middle layer with the shaggy-looking effect was created the same way but with the fabric pulled through differently. The inside layer was created using the loopy technique and I found it a bit more time-consuming!
The workshop lasted about an hour and a half, after which, we were left to our own devices to complete the kit. I carried on with mine over the sunny Easter weekend. I sat in the garden doing it and it was absolutely wonderful – so relaxing and therapuetic.
This is a pic of my daughter doing her kit. Now, because I was carefully watching Elspeth on-screen, I wasn’t able to instruct her properly! She had a monster kit which looked brilliant – it hasn’t turned out exactly as planned, but my daughter loved doing it and I’m chuffed to bits that she’s learned a new craftsmanship skill.
Above, you’ll see Elspeth in her studio, rag rugging away. Check out all that fabric yarn! Elspeth is a professional rag rugger and avid crafter, a published author and has even appeared on national TV. She founded Ragged Life in 2014 after growing up learning to rag rug and noticing the trend for rag rugs was on the increase.
Through Ragged Life, Elspeth runs workshops around the country, face to face, and now online. She also sells gorgeous rag rug kits and makes one-off handmade commissions too.
Above is one of Elspeth’s creations – a rag rug pouffe. Wouldn’t mind one of these in my house. Might put that on my to-do list, although I’m not sure it’d turn out anywhere near as good as this one!
So, if you’ve ever wanted to learn the craft of rag rugging, I’d highly recommend trying a Ragged Life online workshop with Elspeth. It’s a great way to embrace your creativity while on lockdown!
To learn more, or to book a workshop, head on over to Ragged Life now.