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About Elspeth

Hi, I’m Elspeth, avid crafter and professional rag rugger (now that’s something I never thought I would say!)  When I was 14 I was asked to make a costume for my school’s recycled fashion show. I’d grown up with my mum’s rag rugs all over the house and thought it would make the perfect medium for my outfit. Hours and hours and t-shirts and t-shirts later, I finished my costume… which was possibly the most uncomfortable outfit ever made (try telling a teenager they have to line something). I won second prize for my efforts but decided that rag rug clothing wasn’t exactly the easiest place to start… a rug would do for my next project. That’s where my story began and I’ve been rag rugging ever since.

About Ragged Life

I founded my company “Ragged Life” in 2014 after noticing that more and more people were looking to get into rag rugging. I started out running workshops at weekends and in the evenings in London and Hertfordshire but as demand picked up I left my old job to rag rug full time. I’m now a published author, have appeared on national TV and am a regular in craft magazines.

I love spreading rag rug cheer by running workshops across the country as well as selling rag rug starter kits and making handmade commissions. 

So… you know I’m a rag rugger and that’s great… but it’s only useful if you actually know what rag rugging is so here’s a bit of a potted history of the craft.

What is Rag Rugging?

There are so many wonderful crafts out there but we at Ragged Life live and breathe rag rugging. Rag rugging… what on earth is that? 

Rag rugging is an old British craft where people use hessian sacking and old, clothing and fabric to make cosy rugs for the floor. It was incredibly widespread during the Victorian times when lower income families embraced rag rugging as a way to make the most out everything they had. They took the clothing that was no longer fit for purpose and worked their magic to make wonderful rugs for the cold, stone floors – even the men got involved! 

Once you get rag rugging, it’s hard not to get hooked (pardon the pun).

Why We Love Rag Rugging

Helping the Planet – rag rugging uses up old clothing that might otherwise end up in landfill or shipped abroad. We’d much rather give that clothing a second life as a rug or cushion. Long live upcycling!

The Chameleon of Crafts – when you think of rag rugging, it’s hard to think of anything other than rugs, rugs and more rugs. Well rag rugging has changed a lot over the years - nowadays it's a textile art that can be used across a whole spectrum of projects. We’ve rag rugged anything that will stay still long enough… cushions, draft excluders, tissue boxes… you name it, we’ve probably tried it!

Easy to Learn - rag rugging is a very forgiving craft that is simple to learn and hard to forget. The tools are inexpensive and finding fabric is as simple as clearing out your wardrobe. Don't believe us? Join us for one of our workshops or pick up a kit and you'll soon be convinced.