Photo above - Old rag rug
Many years ago I purchased a rag throw rug to place on the floor in front of my kitchen sink. It wasn't much to look at but it was durable and well made and it has lasted through what must be at least a thousand washings.
Though it was getting tired and worn I could find nothing as nice to replace it with. I looked in the home improvement stores and in the home goods sections of a number of department stores but nothing could match the homey, little, old rag rug.
Photo above - Close-up of one of the many well worn areas.
Normally my hubby doesn't get involved in matters that concern the interior of the home, unless it pertains to repairs, like a dripping faucet. His domain is the garage and that is his haven to do and decorate as he wishes. However, for some odd reason, he ran across a display of rag, throw rugs and decided to purchase one for me. Said rug was approximately a foot too long and 18 inches too wide, it contained several "odd" strips of fabric in neon orange and tooth rattling chartreuse . . . not to mention the occasional violet-purple, goldenrod, vivid turquoise blue, and Mexican salsa red ! Those colors probably would not have been so glaring had there not been so much black thrown in with it - the stark contrast made the neon strips stand out even more dramatically.
It's the thought that counts so I tried to accept his purchase graciously.
I placed the rug on the floor in front of the kitchen sink and tried to ignore it. It was like trying to ignore a hangnail, or an eyelash that's fallen into your eye . . . it couldn't be done. Then I decided to wash it (perhaps hot water and detergent would soften the colors or at least shrink it some. When I removed it from the washer the rug was no longer rectangular. I'm not sure what the shape was but let's just say that all the stripes were no longer straight but careened up and down the rug like drunken sailors. Trying to straighten it out, I realized that the rug was very poorly made (but then for $5.95 what else could I expect?) and that the whole thing needed to be remade (oh joy ! - said sarcastically).
In my mind I thought it would be a simple and quick project to take the rag rug apart and reweave it. WHAT THE BLAZES WAS I THINKING ?
I began the project 4 weeks before Christmas, thinking I'd have it done well before the holidays, I finished it 3 months later (and yes, I worked on it every single day).
Photo above - the rug canvas that I found at Michael's and some of the vibrant fabric strips that were taken from the new rag rug.
Photo above - work in progress, the remaking of the new rag rug. Here the rug is about 95% complete, too bad I didn't think to take a "before" photo showing the rug with all its black background and its jarring stripes of psychedelic colors.
The canvas netting I used was designed for latch hook rugs and so the squares would not accommodate some of the wider strips of fabric, therefore many strips had to be cut down to make them narrower. All the strips had to be ironed and folded and ironed again before they could be tediously woven through the netting. Then there were the edges of the rug canvas that had to be reinforced and finished off neatly so the whole rug would not come apart in its next laundering. It would have been easier, if not faster, to have made a brand new rug from scratch.
In honesty I know I would not attempt this again as the canvas netting was very stiff and rough, it abraded my knuckles to the point that I had to resort to wearing a pair of thick cotton gloves . . . have you ever tried to weave something wearing gloves ? Awkward !
Though I left a few strips of the black and the dark navy blue fabric the newly rewoven rug looks a lot brighter than before its remake.
Photos above - So there it is. Maybe not the best or the most beautiful rag rug, but it is done and it is on the floor doing its job.
Have you ever had one of those projects that you got involved with and then wished you had never started ?