Rag Makers is a mother and daughter practice, inspired by the women in their family who spent their lives working in the rag trade, recycling woollen cloth in Ossett, West Yorkshire.
Throughout the 19th century Ossett was a town that specialised in recycling cloth, sent there from across the UK and Europe. At the start of the recycling process skilled women would sort rags into different grades depending on colour, quality and composition. Woollen and worsted fabrics went on to become types of rag-wool known as Mungo & Shoddy and cotton fabrics went on to be used in paper production.
Inspired by this history, they wanted to create textile accessories in a responsible way and at the same time offering customers a bespoke range of hand made products.
They began their journey working with a family-run mill in Huddersfield, producing lengths of woollen cloth made using pre-consumer waste yarns sourced from the UK textile industry.
Pre-consumer waste yarns are ends of lines or stock yarns which may be surplus or in such a small quantity they are not commercially viable to be used on a large scale – however they are perfect for Rag Makers to use as they work on a small scale.
The nature of the yarns used being unpredictable and unrepeatable, together with the way they carefully design the products means that the end accessories are one of a handful, if not one-of-a-kind in appearance.
Inspired by the positive reaction they have received to their work and the story behind how the woollen accessories are made, they have begun to grow their concept.
Rag Makers are exploring the potential of using other environmentally conscious or ‘waste’ materials generated on our doorstep here in Yorkshire and further afield in the rest of the UK.
Each product is made and finished by hand in their studio in Holmfirth. As the appearance of each product is different, special attention is given to the finishing details of each piece – such as the colour of the hand-wrapped woollen handles on our bags or the contrasting inner-pockets both of which add a contemporary look and feel to their work.
Our MEET THE MAKER event with Design Factory is on Sunday 20th August so do pop this date in your diary and come along to meet all the designer/makers taking part.