The Art of Proggy Matting

There is an old Weardale story about an elderly couple. The old fella was lying gravely ill in bed, and the doctor was called. His wife, feared the worst. However, to everyone’s surprise, he made a good recovery, and one day felt like getting up and breathing in the fresh Weardale air and called for his clothes. His wife, shamefaced appeared at the door and said

‘I thought tha were a gonna, so I cut up tha’ clothes for a proggy mat’

proggy-matThe Art of ‘Proggy Matting’ involves taking strips of wool fabric and poking them through a piece of hessian that has been stretched on a frame.

Here is a downloadable tutorial on proggy and indeed hooky matting too, written by Ali Rhind:

Hooky and Proggy: A Beginner’s Guide by Ali Rhind with Tyne and Wear Museums.

The rug in this photo was made by my husband using strips of wool coat, nearly 30 years ago for our house in Weardale. It is still going strong and is now infront of the fire in Bridge Cottage. However, it is very much Lucy the dog’s mat. In fact she understands the command, ‘On your mat!’


wool-scraps As a by product of my woolly pedlaring, I get a vast amount of wool off cuts, often gorgeous felted wool in lovely colours. I hate waste, and as the whole nature of my business is upcycling waste I collect my scraps until I find someone who can find a use for them. Enter the proggy matters!

Although not exclusive to the north-east, this is a north-east tradition that is still going strong. So, let it be known that The Woolly Pedlar is giving away bags of wool scraps! I’d love them to be used in proggy matting!

I sell my upcycled woolly clothes, soft furnishings and accessories at Hexham Farmer’s Market and will make a point of bringing some scraps each week to the market. All I ask is that you make a donation to what ever charity floats your boat. If you don’t have a preference, I will donate all donations from wool scraps to Cancer Research.

Stall-1The next Farmer’s Market in Hexham will be on Saturday, 28th February. Looks as if it could be chilly, but you’ll find a warm woolly welcome at my stall. We’ll have the sides on, hot chocolate in the flask and would love to see you if you’re in town.

If not, never mind, there’s the website and it’s online shop, and catch up with all my woolly goings on  Facebook, Instagram or Twitter




For those of you in the north-east, see you at Hexham Farmer’s Market! Next Saturday 28th Feb, then the second and fourth Saturdays thereafter.









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