Rag Rugs and Ragging

ind museum Rag rug

Rag rugs remains have been found in old Celtic and Viking homes and the making of rugs from rags is still practiced in Yorkshire. As the pictures imply there have been style changes as the availability of rag material has changed (some might argue improved). This is a new world of Proddies, Poggies, Clippies or Latch Hooks some of the tools of the trade to push the rags through the hessian. The process is now a little more complex as the rugs have become art objects often used as wall hangings or decorations.

Rag rugs are sometimes called Tab Rugs, Peg Rugs and Clootie Basses. Here in West Yorkshire the popularity of groups where people to get together to mat ‘n’ chat is growing. “It’s a nice communal thing to do, to sit with your rug.’ According to Jenny Salton, Museums Officer at Tolson museum Huddersfield.

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Louisa Creed and her husband from York are also exponents of the revived craft though Louisa has been making rugs for over 20 years. Louisa Creed’s work is highly valued and respected on both sides of the Atlantic, rugs can sell for upwards of £1200, better than your average Rag and Boneman prices. She has her own web site and has a  selling exhibitions at

Cemetery Chapel, York
Mainly Rag Rugs
Friday 14 to Sunday 16 October 2016

The Ebor Ruggers,including rugs by Louisa and Lewis Creed.

Book Cover

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Book Cover Making Rag Rugs: 15 Step-by-Step Projects by Clare Hubbard £47.95

Book Cover Rug Hooking for the First Time by Donna Lovelady£6.99

See also Quilting

More rag rugs from the display at the James Herriot museum in Thirsk

Hearth Rug

Hearth Rug – All Creatures Great and Small

Rag rug to a bull
Rag Rug to a Bull

If you are looking for other craft hobbies why not try making your own soap. There are some ideas on ‘Craft Your Own Homemade Soap’.

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9 Responses to Rag Rugs and Ragging

  1. Penny Godfrey September 6, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    These two lovely rugs are made by Linda Murray, who is a member of the West Riding Ruggers, who meet at Bradford industrial Museum. In November 2009 we have an exhibition at Tolson Museum in Huddersfield. Please see their web page for details. Penny

  2. Syd Gardner January 22, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Seeing these pictures of the rag rugs,reminded me of my childhood in Dewsbury where my Great grandmother and my grandmother were both rag sorters and they made rag rugs that were all over their homes as a child I well remember helping to hang them on the line in the back yard and beating them with a large cain beater just a memory of rag rugs Syd

  3. Jude February 24, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    Hi . I have several old rag rugs circ 1900 . I am finding it hard to find the value of them . Could you give me any info on books , sites etc . Thank you . J .

    • brian February 27, 2010 at 4:36 am #

      I would ask your local auction house if they have any interest in, or can give a valuation on your collection.
      Good Luck

  4. Alicia @ Salton Store November 3, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    Hello there, just browsing for information for my Salton site. Lots of information out there. Not quite what I was looking for, but cool site. Have a good day.

  5. Lynne Stein August 28, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    Jude, I should be really interested to know more about your rag rugs, dated around 1900. Can you tell me anything further about their history, and appearance?Do you live in the Yorkshire area?


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