Rag Rug Retreat  

Dates: 31 Aug - 4 Sep 2015 (mon - fri)

Location: Summer Isles

Course Places : n/a 

Residential Course



ragrugretreatThis course is a perfect opportunity to re-charge your batteries by spending a few days learning a traditional skill at a relaxed pace. Tanera Mòr, the only Summer Isle that is inhabited, is a magical setting for this most unusual summer course. You will spend a week far away from everyday concerns - there are no roads, shops or television on the island - immersing yourself in the creative process. 

Jan has been teaching textile workshops, including rag rugging, for over 15 years now and is a consummate recycler of all sorts of materials.  Rag rugging is the ultimate recycling craft, in that it converts fabric, including much-loved but well-worn clothing, into vibrant and hard-wearing artefacts, such as rugs, cushion covers, tea cosies and upholstered chair seats. It is easy to learn, sociable, therapeutic and allows for the added satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your bit to save the planet! And an added bonus is that it is a portable craft, so you can take it with you wherever you go.

We arrive on the island late afternoon on the Monday, giving us an hour or two to settle in before we meet up for a communal meal.  After dinner, we will have a look at some of Jan's rag rug work and look through some books and images, as we discuss early ideas for the designs of your own rag rug projects.  

The following morning, we will go through the process of  planning a design and preparing your materials before beginning the project. After a long lunch break, allowing you to take your first walk on the island, we will be ready to start rag rugging and Jan will teach you the two methods of working - hooking and prodding.  By the end of the day, you should be in a confident rhythm of your own.

On Wednesday morning, we continue with our work and you will be amazed at how a second day in a row improves your skill and your speed. Again, we will have a long lunch break, allowing you to do some more exploring of the island.  When we re-convene, before dinner,  we will have a mini-workshop in making felt baubles and buttons, and look at how beautifully felt can be used for backing, edging and embellishing your rag work.

On Thursday, there will be plenty of time to carry on rugging, and there will be an optional session in which Jan will demostrate how to turn your rag work into a cushion cover and also how you could upholster it on to a chair.  The afternoon will be your own, though we will meet for an hour before dinner to discuss the various merits of the suppliers of the equipment and materials you will need. At that point, all that will remain to be done is to make sure that you prepare and take away everything you will need to continue your rugging project at home. 

We leave the island on Friday morning, renewed in spirit and with new skills to practise and enjoy over the coming winter.

The price covers ferry costs, full board, materials and tuition: the only use for your purse will be to buy some postcards from the islands unique post office, which issues its own stamps.  You will go home with your project well on its way (or even completed) and everything you will need to carry the craft forward at home.  This course is aimed at beginners, so no experience of textile crafts is required.


Large Room to yourself : £475 Share of Large Room with friend or partner : £425 Bunk room to yourself : £375


Please click on an image to see the full picture.



To read about an innovative community partnership approach to preserving and improving this landscape for the benefit of all, have a look at Coigach and Assynt Living Landscapes. To find out about the fascinating geology of this area go to North West Highland Geopark.


Email : jan@wildtiles.co.uk    Tel : 01854 666279,   Postal Address : Jan Kilpatrick, Cul Mor, Elphin, By Lairg, Sutherland, IV274HH.  

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