Today’s Family

Conducted by Mabel Jones Gabbott

Print Share

    Rugs

    Remember Rudyard Kipling’s story “That Cat Who Walked by Himself” (Just So Stories)? In that day all things were wild. The animals were wild, and man was wild. Then the woman found a nice dry cave, instead of a heap of wet leaves, to lie down in. She strewed clean sand on the floor, put a rug made of wild-horse skin at the entrance, and said, “Wipe your feet, dear, when you come in.” And thus civilization began.

    Women have fashioned rugs from many things: from skins of animals, from rushes and weeds, from wool and cotton fibers, and today from many versatile man-made materials.

    At one time almost every home had its loom in the corner with a rug in process, waiting the quiet hours for weaving, or a traditional ragbag, holding strips of material to be braided into rugs. Many beautiful rugs are made commercially today, but handmade rugs, whether woven, crocheted, knitted, braided, or stitched, are cherished possessions. As women deftly combine patterns and colors, they build their dreams for their loved ones.

    If you would care to make a rug, first learn the basic stitch (how to knit, crochet, weave, braid, or hook a rug), then go to your nearest handicraft store for patterns and instructions and materials.

    We have pictured for you various rugs, listing for each the type of rug, the size, and the woman who fashioned it.

    Navajo Rugs: The first Navajo rugs were woven on simple looms in varied designs and colors—usually muted earth colors, made from native dyes of berries and roots. The Navajo rug pictured belongs to John and Orpha Boyden. 5 feet by 3 1/2 feet

    Needlepoint rug; 5 feet by 40 inches, oblong; Cora Barnett

    Crocheted rug; 30 inches in diameter; Ivy Eldredge

    Hooked rug, rose design; 2 foot by 3 foot oval; Ida Westerman

    Knitted rug; 2 foot by 3 foot oval; Lucile C. Reading

    Braided rug; 7 feet in diameter; Kathy Gailey