Rag Makers is a mother and daughter practice, inspired by the women in our 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, we wanted to create textile accessories in a responsible way and at the same time offer our customers a bespoke range of hand made products.
We began our journey working with a family-run mill in Huddersfield, producing lengths of woollen cloth made using stock yarns which are a by-product from the UK textile industry. By their nature, stock yarns are unpredictable and unrepeatable and together with the way we 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 we received to our work and the story behind how the woollen accessories are made, we have begun to grow our concept. We are exploring the potential of using other environmentally conscious materials or ‘waste’ materials generated on our doorstep here in Yorkshire and further afield in the rest of the UK.
"The Rag Makers have a really interesting story, we loved reading about the provenance of their products using waste materials and combining with their family heritage to create a range of unique products"
Product & inspiration director, Not On The Highstreet