Welcome to the Rugmaker's Homestead for 2016!
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. Rug making has always been practiced by both men and women. In some families, it was only the men who were the rug makers.
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. As part of our mission, we are happy to identify an old family rug for you and point you to the directions to make it.
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by the idea of traditional rag rugs, the Rugmaker's Homestead has articles, letters, historical references and free patterns and directions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
, 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. Long recognized for her unique ability to identify and recreate lost textile methods, her goal of preserving these techniques has always inspired these pages.
The Table of Contents page is the best guide to finding just what you’re looking for. Organized just like the table of contents for a book, it lists the free how-to articles, rug history and advice for rug makers.
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, which independently selects websites to be permanently archived by the British Library.
Rugmaker's Handbook No. 6: The Lost Bohemian & Swedish Braids is finally available! We know that many of you have been waiting a very long time for the directions for the Swedish braid and the new full-color handbook has those directions for the first time ever--along with many new features and topics. One of the brand new topics is working patterns into Bohemian braid rugs and baskets like the rug shown at the right. (And, yes, we've heard from all you leftys and the directions are shown step-by-step for both right- and left-handed rug makers.)
See the What's New page for details. To preview the table of contents and an introductory chapter, click here.