Beamish, the North of England Open Air Museum, Durham
1800 – 1899
Rag rugs, rag mats, hooky mats and proggy mats, as they are often called in the North East, are hard wearing rugs made from cuttings of scrap and recycled material.
These mats were popular, especially in the mining villages and rural cottages of the North where they were made; surviving examples date from the mid 1800s to the 1960s. Rag mat making involved every member of the family and was an important part of family life, within the community.
It is now appreciated as an important Folk Art survival.
On display at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North. Visitors can see mats being made in the colliery cottages and can see many examples of the craft around the museum.
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