Friday, 20 September 2019



Just packing our rubbish into different containers and sending it off, we know not where, is not to me very satisfactory recycling. Actually making our waste into other things, using our leftovers as raw materials is what I call recycling. Instead of transporting our waste hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles to be recycled (if indeed it actually is) adding huge pollution costs to the planet we should recycle in the local community. I have seen wonderful recycling of metal, plastics and textiles in African and Arabic countries which have really inspired me to try to do it too.

Rag rug making is a great technique to use in recycling as you can use just about anything. I have made ragrugs entirely from plastic bags, using huge heaps of them. I have made rugs from old clothes- T-shirts, tracksuits, coats even knickers! I met one lady who had made a ragrug entirely from odd socks. I have used denim and cotton and silks. In the old days stockings dyed in bright colours were popular for hooked rugs.

My wallhanging "Recycle it"  was intended as a sort of sampler to show how many different materials can be used in ragrug making. It incorporates T-shirts, old sofa covering, bin bags, carrier bags, ring pulls, old toys, felt tip pens, Christmas lights, and much more. I have tried to convey the message that we can look upon everything with a creative eye to see what we can make out of it.

Prodding can use huge quantities of materials making anything from a beautiful and valuable piece of art to a practical and useful mat from a pile of "rubbish". This is what I call real recycling ; adding value to the materials with the minimum use of extra energy( as in transport, petrol and machinery) except of course your own!

Sue Clow