Re Rag Rug

Re Rag Rug is an experimental design and crafts project by two very talented Swedes, Katarina Brieditis and Katarina Evans. With backgrounds in textile design, product development and needlework, the duo were brought together through a shared interest in knitting, embroidery and recycling and have collaborated on projects since 2001.

Their latest collaboration brings together their shared passions and explores new ways of using a variety of textiles, from the seemingly worthless materials of discarded jumpers to high-quality carpets. The Re Rag Rug project largely consists of handmade production but also engages with industry and studio production. The combination of design, needlework, recycling and textiles provides a platform for the two artists to experiment with traditional mediums and discarded materials to create beautiful new works.

The ladies have given the traditional granny rag rug a face lift by using different types of rags in combination with a variety of sewing, plaiting, crocheting, knitting, macramé, rolling, cutting, applique, embroidery, structure and relief effects, three dimensionality, colour and dye techniques and experiments with scale. The project is all about experimentation with the duo testing textile techniques and materials in the pursuit of creating new products that are unique and highly covetable.The goal of the project is to find interesting techniques suitable for unique hand-made pieces as well as for sustainable industrial production.

The majority of material used in the construction of the rugs is considered worthless, T-shirts and woollen sweaters from the Salvation Army’s second-hand stores and scrap material from the textile industry. The materials are donated as they are considered waste that cannot be sold or donated to charity. Sweaters that are too worn, ripped or in the case of wool sweaters, shrunk, all find a use in the Re Rag Rug project. The use of the waste materials is another part of the experimentation process; how to create a resource from mass-produced waste through new ways of using and refining materials. And although the re-use of waste products is an integral part, design is paramount to the project, with each rug created as a work of art .

The project took the form of rugs as the duo see the rug as playing a universal role in interiors the world over. Rugs protect from cold floors and draft and they have a major impact on the acoustics of a room. They gather groups of people and furniture in a space, create a room within a room and serve as important cultural bearers for many people. The experimental project has been going since August 2012, with the aim to develop one unique rag rug per month and is set to end in August 2013 with the final pieces to be shown in an exhibition. The talented two are looking to put some of the rugs into production.

This project is supported by the Swedish Art Grants committee, Konstnärsnämnden