Monday, 17 August 2009

Rag rugs or red rags

During the general sorting out of house contents leading up to the house move (date still uncertain) I've accumulated the usual pile of clothes that aren't suitable to give to many charity shops.  What to do with them?  It annoys me to have to throw them out with the general rubbish.

The Salvation Army and Oxfam do recycle textiles, selling on unwearable clothes or fabrics as raw materials.  They can be shredded and used as insulation materials, in roofing felts, padding, or used as cloths in a range of industries.  Wool can be reclaimed and made into yarn by specialists.  TRAID takes torn or stained clothing and remakes into one-off garments which are then sold under the TRAIDremade label.

Boujad rug from Flickr/Luciano Ghersi

Taking TRAID's initiative a step further are women in Morocco who are using pieces of material from old clothes to creating rugs in the Essaouira tradition.  They use a hook to knot the pieces of fabric on to a canvas backing and let their imaginations create beautiful ethnic-style rugs in geometric designs.  Développement Durable has some good pictures of the colourful end product.

There are other ways to make rag rugs - braiding, crochet - but I'm no crafty expert.  I will not be making us a rug out of the odd sock mountain, but I'll be giving them to Oxfam rather than to landfill.

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  1. That is a great idea. I always like to donate whenever or wherever I can. I too am not very crafty at all so donations are the way to go for me.

  2. I would have done the same. However my grandma made them herself and I had a great time helping her - long, long time ago :-)

  3. We deliver what we do not need any longer to the Salvation Army - only quality of course.

    You have a great point

  4. The odd sock mountain. I see.

  5. @PS, I always try, but sometimes it's not as easy as it might seem, though I will say it's easier than it used to be.

    @Renny, how wonderful! I've seen rugs like that, but not seen them made.

    @Tor, we give to the Salvation Army too. They are a very good organisation I think.

    @Max, you mean you don't have an odd sock mountain in your house? When we have more odd socks than matching ones, it's time to buy some more.

  6. These ethnic style rugs are surely a real beauty. It is so nice to know that people are using their creativeness in making beautiful crafts by using old and used clothes.


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