Welcome to the Rag Rugs web site. Here you will find traditional, hand woven cotton rag rugs. These carefully woven one-of-a-kind rag rugs will enhance early American to contemporary settings.
Rag Rugs: In Your Unique Colors
Your rag rug will be woven to your specifications and thus will complement the colors in your home and unify your decor.
Please look at my gallery for examples of rag rugs that have been commissioned. These cotton rugs were designed using color references like fabric, wall paper, and paint chips that were sent to me. With the actual colors in hand, I was able to design rag rugs that were a perfect match for the room. The tightly handwoven texture of the rag rugs show the craftsperson's care for quality.
Rag Rugs: Paint Chips and Fabric for Matching Colors
| Any color you need to send me is readily available - go to any paint store! There is a rainbow of color to select from. This photo demonstrates that once I have your colors in hand...your rag rug will perfectly match what you have in mind. This is the 'hit or miss' design, a blending of several colors, handwoven randomly, that create a soft pastel pallette. My customer also sent some fabric samples for her rugs to match.
Rag Rugs: What They Are Made Of
Sheets! New and recycled. Much of the cotton and cotton blend fabric used in my rag rugs is recycled bed linens cut into two inch widths. Cotton sheets allow for very long srips of fabric to weave into the rugs. All cloth is prewashed to reduce shrinkage.
I use only high thread count cotton fabrics which yield an extremely durable rug. Sometimes a quilter friend will share her overstock of cotton fabric giving me a wonderful hoard of useful prints and colors that weave vibrance into a rug. I'm always on the lookout for yardage. Having a wide assortment of solid and printed cotton on hand provides me with a complete pallette of colors to weave with, much like a painter combines colors for the canvas. Of course, when I am matching colors for commissioned rag rugs, I usually am launched on a treasure hunt for the "perfect" cotton fabric to match or coordinate with the samples that were sent to me.
The other essential part of weaving is the 8/4 poly cotton warp that I painstakingly thread onto the loom. This exacting process can take me much of a day. The warp has to be acurately threaded through the heddles and wound onto the beam with perfect tension to weave a durable rug.
Rag Rugs: Designing
In designing the rag rugs for you, I assemble all of your color samples and begin to make colored sketches of how each of the rag rugs will look once woven. To this I add the cones of cotton warp threads that I will need to compliment the color scheme you have chosen for your rag rug.
If you wish, I will be glad to send you some sketches to help you make your final decision. Beware, though, some people ended up liking the variations so much that they ordered several co-ordinating rag rugs! :-)
Rag Rugs: Color Map
For each of the rag rugs I weave, I make a color map which I attach to the loom so that I can constantly check the progression of colors as I weave. As the rag rugs grow, I occasionally adjust proportions to be sure that the final rugs retain the aesthethic integrity of the approved design.
Sometimes my inspiration for the complete color scheme of a new rag rug comes from just one object. Below is my version of an autumn sumac leaf woven into a rug.
Above is an example of a complex color scheme drawn from many different fabric samples.
Rag Rugs: At the Market
To see how well woven my rag rugs are, you can come to the Ithaca Farmers Market, in Ithaca, New York, where I display and sell my ready-made cotton rugs. You may even catch me at work knotting off the ends of one of the rugs I have just finished. Each one of the rag rugs is carefully tied off by hand. This assures you of a solidly woven, stable rug that you will be proud to have in your home.