We all have a collection remnant fabric scraps, don’t we, but who saves the small off-cuts? They are useless, right? WRONG….
There are a number of useful ways to create something quite unique, out of very small fabric scraps, and one way is to make a durable floor mat/rug that is soft on our feet.
Perfect for the kitchen, bathroom or laundry, it is time to think of keeping our toes warm, now that winter is approaching. Rag mats first originated in the depression years, when every single item had to be used and re-used. Whilst there is no need for us to be so frugal today, why throw away something that could be turned into a functional and pretty item? It is free and uses no pre-purchased materials, apart from a small piece of hessian, which most crafters would have sitting in their stash, anyways.
In years gone by, many families purchased their potatoes, flour, sugar or salt in hessian bags, and once the contents were eaten, gave the sacks second lives, around the home.
You will need:
- 1 piece of hessian or burlap, cut and hemmed to the size of the mat you desire. The hemming will stop the hessian from fraying.
- A selection of fabric scraps, cut into strips -1cm w x 12 cm long and upwards.
You don’t have to be especially neat with this, but I do prefer to use pinking shears to cut a zig zag edge, otherwise the scraps do tend to fray.
Now you are ready…. this technique does take some time, so be patient, or do this whilst watching TV, a little each night.
Using an old crochet hook, or knitting needle, lay a fabric strip on the hessian and push one end of the cut strip through to the other side of the hessian.
Do the same on the underside, so that there are two ends showing through on the right side of the hessian mat.
Tie a simple “criss cross and under” overhand knot. No need to double the knot.
Repeat with more and more fabric strips.
Continue in this fashion until the mat is covered to the desired thickness and fullness with fabric off-cuts.
If you have a limited amount of one colour of fabric, I like to distribute it evenly over the mat, rather than finishing with a conglomeration of colour, on one end.
Then I just fill in all the gaps…..
Until, one day… hey presto, it is done. A cosy, environmentally friendly rug to keep your bare feet warm when the weather cools that has cost you nothing but time.
The under side of your hessian mat should look something like this:
Once complete, the mat may be washed in very hot water to make the hessian shrink, and the holes in the base fabric contract, thereby locking the fabric strips/scraps into the hessian.
If you use this method, you probably don’t have to knot the ends of each fabric strip together, just poke them through to the other side.
How many scraps make a rug?
Definitely something I will NOT ponder about today.