Rafter-four Designs
Rugmaker's Homestead
 
 
 
 
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the resource for traditional rug makers since 1984
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Welcome to the Rugmaker's Homestead for 2014!
 
Nothing says home quite so well as a rag rug on the floor, especially if you made it yourself. That's the reason that rag rugs have been made, used and loved for generations.

The rugs featured here are the genuine article. These rugs were originally created out of necessity, with limited supplies and only the simplest tools. Unless your family has been rolling in money for generations, you can bet that you have a (great- or great-great-) grandmother or grandfather that made rag rugs of some variety. But beyond the basic techniques, traditional rugs can be showcases for design and craftsmanship, which are an asset to any home. Plus, they are a wonderful way to connect with the past and continue a family tradition.
 
The Rugmaker's Homestead is a goldmine of information about traditional rag rugs--and the only place you can find any information on many of the lost methods of making rugs. Most people are surprised to learn that there are hundreds of ways of turning rags into rugs. Here, at Rafter-four Designs, we are working toward preserving the traditional rug making techniques which have fallen by the wayside. We believe that the best way to preserve a folk art is to teach folks how to do it with modern, reliable directions
 
If you're intrigued by the idea of traditional rag rugs, the Rugmaker's Homestead has articles, letters, historical references and free patterns and directions to get you started. Our most popular feature is the Rag Rugs Tour, now with 31 different stops covering all of the major types of traditional rugs. There is so much information available here that we have created a Welcome page for first time visitors to help you find your way around the Homestead.
 
All of the rugs you'll see pictured on the Rugmaker's Homestead were created by our master rugmaker, Diana Blake Gray unless otherwise noted. To see what type of rug it is, just hold the cursor over the image to see its description.
 
Our New Look!
The Rugmakers Homestead has a brand new look, expanded content and so much more, but we have kept the best of the original features too. The Table of Contents page is still the guide to finding just what you’re looking for—now reorganized to make it even easier. We still feature free how-to articles, tech support and advice for rug makers and free identification of your old rugs.
 
With over a hundred individual web pages, the update and redesign of the Rugmaker’s Homestead is still underway. So if you have comments or suggestions (or find a link that’s not working) please drop us a line at info@rugmakershomestead.com
 
Our new “What’s New” page is more dynamic with current happenings, new books, status reports on upcoming events, featured comments from rug makers and some surprises.
 
The name of our business is "Rafter-four Designs" and we have been providing books and supplies to traditional rugmakers since 1984. Our “Rugmaker’s Homestead is the oldest rug making site on the internet (since 1996) and is recognized as the best English language website in the world on the topic of rag rugs, by Beesker in Britain and it hasn’t stopped growing.
 
 
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 New Features of the Rugmaker's Homestead Website
 
For our 30th anniversary, the Rugmaker's Homestead is sporting a new look, new articles, new features—all part of a massive update and redesign of the website. Some highlights:
 
A—No More Ads! We have gone ad-free. No more sponsored links—just rug making articles and information. Those ads are distracting and lead to cookies, tracking, etc. (which we don’t use). That’s also why we don’t use embedded social media.

B—Roll over photos. Now you can just roll the cursor arrow over a photograph to find out about it. No longer will there be a question about what kind of a rug it shows. All the information will be at your fingertips.
 
C—Articles in pdf format. Ok, we know that printing off web articles can be a real pain (and a paper eater) so we are converting those we can to printer-friendly pdf files. Even with that efficiency the information on the Rugmaker’s Homestead will still fill a 300-page notebook.

D—The Rag Rugs Tour has always been our most popular feature and it has grown by almost 50%, going from 21 tour stops to 31, and more in the works. The content of the tour has expanded to include help in identifying each type or group of rugs and tips about rug construction.

E—New Articles. Several new articles have been added and more are on the way, focused on explaining rug making queries from our correspondents.

F—We’ve reorganized the structure of the website, to make it easier to find what you’re looking for quickly. See the Table of Contents page.


G—We’ve gone back to our roots, and now offer only the rug-based publications in our catalog. We are discontinuing tools and supplies. But we’re not going to cast rug makers adrift hunting for them. We have a new “Suppliers” page with links to sources we trust for the rug making supplies that can be hard to find.

H—The What’s New Page will become our newsletter with status reports, updates on events and publications, recent correspondence and new postings, which we hope will make it more useful.


And most noticeable of all is our new design and color scheme with a softer background to make it easier on the eyes. We hope you'll enjoy our new look.

Click on the cattle brand if you'd like to learn more about Rafter-four Designs.

The Rafter-four, an old family cattle brand