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Necessary Traditions: Hooked Rag Rug Workshops

Necessary Traditions: Hooked Rag Rug Workshops

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  • Mon 12 Nov ’18, 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Mon 12 Nov ’18, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Tue 13 Nov ’18, 10:00am – 3:00pm


The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora, 2 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Workshop cost - Monday or Tuesday daytime (both five hours): $95.00
  • Workshop cost - Monday evening (three hours): $75.00

Three Hooked Rag Rug Workshops with Vita Cochran are being held on 12 and 13 November 2018.

These workshops are part of the inaugural Necessary Traditions festival, a celebration of resourcefulness, craft and the re-invigoration of traditions vital to the sustainability of our people and planet.

In this workshop you will learn the simple and satisfying technique of turning old woollen garments and fabrics into a beautiful, and useful, floor coverings -- and future heirlooms.

Rag rug making is a craft that developed out of necessity when fabric was a very precious commodity and rugs for the floor an expensive outlay. Old, worn-out or damaged garments are cut into small strips and hooked through a backing fabric to produce a new, strong, warm and useful item.

The use of found and waste materials, rather than being a limitation on the rug maker's creativity, can be a spur to innovative design and an end product that is original, textured, imbued with history, and long-lasting.

At this workshop you will learn an easy and satisfying technique for making beautiful hooked rugs from old woollen garments and fabric. You can furnish your home in a unique way and make something useful while recycling material that might otherwise go to waste. This craft is having a resurgence today as we look for ways to conserve resources and beautify our surroundings.

By the end of the workshop you will have learnt about the history of rag rugs, discovered how to choose and prepare materials, learnt the technique of hooking and started making a small sample rug. You will leave brimming with ideas for future rug hooking projects.

Vita Cochran is a maker of unique textile objects - often handbags, accessories and embroideries - that draw on craft, art and fashion history. She is a enthusiast for making things by hand, getting inspiration from op shops and re-invigorating traditional craft practices.

Her work has been collected by major museums in New Zealand and is sold at Anna Miles Gallery in Auckland. Vita has been making rag rugs, in the manner of many of the matriarchs of her family, for a couple of decades now and she has a rag rug in every room of her house!

See more of Vita's work on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vitacochran/

Vita is running three workshops in The Gym building at the Arts Centre, Te Matatiki Toi Ora:
Monday 12 November, 10.00am to 3.00pm, $95
Monday 12 November, 6.00pm to 9.00pm, $75
Tuesday 13 November, 10.00am to 3.00pm, $95

All materials and equipment will be provided, but if you wish to bring some of your own this is welcomed - look for woollen materials, or material with some wool content, for example old woollen blankets, jerseys, cardigans, coats, tweed, gaberdine, old wool dressing gowns, bush shirts and machine knits.

It doesn't matter if the moths have got to it, if it's in tatters or felted up by the washing machine or in small pieces - everything's useful. Wool is good because it is hard wearing, and doesn't fade or fray too much. Aim to find things that have a reasonably tight weave/knit (unless very finely knitted, handknits don't usually work in a rag rug). Also, if available, bring a sharp pair of scissors that are good for cutting fabric.

This is a workshop is suitable for ages 8 and up with 1:1 parent supervision required for children. Bookings are essential and non-refundable.

Huge thanks to the Arts Centre, Te Matatiki Toi Ora, for supporting the festival and this workshop.

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