Spiral Braided Rag Rug Workshop 19 August 2018


Rag Rug Workshop


Ever wanted to try your hand at making a spiral braided rag rug?

Visual and textile artist, Ilka White, will show you how to make your own unique, colourful rag rug using - you guessed it – cloth rags and fabric scraps. This is a great way to recycle your favourite old t-shirts and clothing making them into functional and decorative homeware that will last for years!

In this one day workshop, Ilka will show you how to begin a rug and guide you through the techniques necessary to complete your piece at home. Buda will also have their own rag rug collection from the 1930s and 40s on display for further inspiration. By the end of this workshop you'll have all the skills you need to finish your rug at home and if you catch the rag-rug-bug you may even be inspired to make few more after that.


Buda Historic Home and Garden in Castlemaine has a strong connection with the Arts and Crafts Movement in Australia, with the five unmarried Leviny daughters, who lived most of their lives in the family home, keen proponents of the Movement. All were involved in at least one or more disciplines relating to the arts and crafts including: embroidery and other styles of fancy needlework, wood carving, decorative metalwork and enamelwork, raffiawork, leatherwork, rag rug making, painting, drawing, designwork and pottery.

Much of their own handiwork was made to decorate their home at Buda, and is still displayed throughout the historic house for visitors to enjoy.


Buda is keen to continue this tradition of fostering the arts, culture, history and horticulture through its public programs, events and activities.


What participants need to bring to the class with them:

1.    BYO lunch (tea and coffee will be supplied)
2.    A clipboard to anchor your braiding (or a magazine & large bulldog clip will do)
3.    Fabric scissors
4.    Crochet hook (approx size 3 or 4 if you have one, or whatever you have at home)
5.    A notebook and a pen or pencil
6.    Clean, worn out cloth you would be happy to cut into rags for your rug samples

ALSO: If you have examples or pictures of recycled rag rugs in your possession, please bring them along for show and tell !

Cloth Notes:

Tightly woven, medium-weight cloth that won't fray excessively is recommended, such as worn out clothing, sheets, tablecloths or curtains. T-shirts are fine and other knits can be used, as can denim. Extremely thick or stiff fabric such as canvas is tricky to work with. If in doubt, bring everything you have and we’ll use what works.

Don’t cut your rags beforehand. We’ll talk about appropriate widths in relation to different fabrics etc. as part of the workshop.

Quantity - In a one day workshop, we begin a rug and learn enough technique to complete it at home. I'd say a couple of shirts, or the equivalent amount of cloth, is enough to bring along to the workshop, but you might like more colours to work with. Most people's work at the end of the one-day workshop is about the size of a dinner plate. The completed size is up to you, and could range from a small mat to a room-sized rug. You'll have all the skills you need to finish the rug from this workshop.

Colour - plays a large part in rug design. If the colours of your cast-offs don’t inspire you, pop into the op-shop and collect a broader colour palette of rag cloth to work with. One of the lovely things about learning in a group is there tends to be a bit of rag swapping going on. I also bring a few bags to share so you’ll get a wider range than your own cast offs.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!


 Copyright 2011 Buda Historic Home and Garden                        Another project from The Eteam

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