Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Process of Toothbrush Rugs by The Chameleon's Attic

Patricia of The Chameleon Attic has some of the most amazing hand knotted toothbrush rugs on Etsy. I can say that these rugs are high quality and can last a lifetime! I personally love my rug and it has been through many beatings. If you are looking to purchase some handmade rugs, I highly recommend The Chameleon Attic's rugs!

I contacted Patricia to learn more about her rugs and was so impressed with the process that I wanted to share it with the world!

What is the process in which you would make your rugs?
The process of picking the colors probably take the longest. Sometimes I see a sheet or other fabric and know right away what I want to do with it; like the Red White and Blue sheet I used in my Primitive Americana rug. Other fabrics sit in piles until a color scheme emerges. That's what happened with the Passion In Purple rug, I had a pile of fabrics sorted into purples and the purple and green plaid got tossed in the pile. I looked at that pile for about a month before I saw the rug in it. I had to dig around for more of the right color green and when I found it I knew I had a rug.

After I know what colors I'm working with I choose a shape. Most of my rugs are circles because I like the symbolism of circles. However, ovals fit much better in most areas.

Once those two things are done the process becomes easy. I start with a few strips and my locker hook and begin shaping the rug.You never know how a rug will look until you start working the knots. Prints never look like what you think they will and even solids take on different shades.

On the average, how long does it take to make a rug?
Of course, it depends on the size. I like my rugs to be 25 inches or more. But, it also depends on the fabric; some fabrics are harder to work and slow the knots down. On average I can do a 30 inch rug in about a 7 to 10 days. It really depends on how much rugging time my husband and son let me have.

What are the washing instructions on your rugs?
One of the wonderful things about these rugs is that they are durable and designed to be used. Don't be afraid to toss them in the washing machine. I wash mine on heavy duty usually with shoes or jeans. I have put them in the dryer but, I like to dry them in the sun. I just tap the rug down flat with my feed and let the sun do the work. Mostly because the dryer makes my house to hot in the summer. My mom's machine can't handle the rugs so she tacks them up on a clothes line, uses liquid laundry soap on them with a brush then hoses the heck out of them. She lets them dry on the line.

How long do you feel your rugs would last, quality wise?
My rugs are designed to be an attractive part of your home, an accent piece. Most importantly they are designed to be functional. Use the rugs, walk on them, dance on them, use them in high traffic areas. They are meant to be used and to last. Because they are individually knotted they will not come a part if a strip becomes worn or breaks. If you do have a loose not or a break it can be fixed either with another strip of fabric or with a needle and thread. They are easily repaired. The first rug I made is in my mothers kitchen and has been there for about 3 years. And, remember she pressure washes hers!

How many rugs do you currently have up in your shop?
Currently there are 7 rugs listed. Each is very distinct in it's look. I've recently added some cute hand bags made with the same knotting process as the rugs. I think they came out great.

Which rug is your favorite and why?
Right now my favorite rug listed is the Primitive Americana. I love red white and blue together and I really like the more worn primitive look. This rug would look great as a display for the fourth of July but, is also a beautiful accent rug all year long.

Anything else you would like to say about your rugs?
I love the hunt for new fabrics to recycle. I love working the strips and watching the rugs grow and take on a pattern of their own. One of the most unique factor in making my rugs is that they are made from re purposed fabrics. Old jeans, t-shirts, dress shirts, sheets pretty much what ever I can find. It's one of the reasons I do very few custom rugs.