Preparing a rag rug

It is hard to imagine the length of this piece of hessian – it’s over 2m long. Each four-part square of angular knotwork is more than 30cm in size, an ideal scale for a rag rug.  There’s a photograph of one of George Bain’s adult students working on a similar rag rug design in publicity for his College of Celtic Cultures in Drumnadrochit. He encouraged local people to create their own Celtic artwork and apply it to craftwork such as embroideries, knitwear, rugs, and wooden objects.

Two different knotwork designs are used, drawn out in blue wax crayon. Both are reminiscent of the angular knotwork of the Ulbster Pictish stone, a favourite of George Bain’s. Over the short sides of the hessian, the four-armed cross at the centre of each pattern is coloured red. Perhaps this is a clue to the final colour of the rug.