I am Dori Henderson, a rag rug maker and artist living in Gamblesby, Cumbria.
A few years ago I went on a rag rug making course at Greystoke Cycle Café and Quirky Workshops at Greystoke, near Penrith. The course was led by Emma Tennant, who is one of the leading exponents of the craft. Not only did I really enjoy my day, I completed my rug (a sleeping fox) at home and later sold it during my C Art open studio in 2015. Since then I have made many more, some as commissions, and started teaching workshops of my own.
I use the loop method (where loops of fabric are pulled through the hessian from the back) for my rugs, rather than the perhaps better known proddy method (where pieces of fabric are prodded through from the front). Both methods use a hook; I prefer a latch hook as it is easier. With the looped method, a pile without cut ends is produced – which makes for a harder wearing rug and a clearer view of the design.
The raw materials are very cheap! I trawl the charity shops for old wool blankets, jumpers and scarves and old tweed jackets, and also polyester fleeces for their colours and texture. The hessian comes from my local sewing emporium; in the old days, people would have used feed sacks.
On the course you need to bring any fabrics you would like to use, and some ideas for your design. I will provide some fabrics too and there will be enough to start you off on your project. I will also provide, for you to keep, hessian, latch hooks, strong linen thread, and the wooden stretcher frames to which you will attach the hessian to keep the work taut.
The project, once on its frame, takes up a fair amount of space, so it might be as well to make sure you have plenty of car boot space!
Looking forward to meeting you and creating some amazing rugs together!