RAG rugs were made in mills and factories as well as at home, says Mrs Kathleen Bell. She worked for a time before the Second World War in the office of John Beever and Sons in Brook Street, a firm that made them commercially.
Beever’s had been a major textile concern in the early 20th century with two mills in Huddersfield and one in Holmfirth. Back then it boasted it was the largest cloth hearth rug manufacturer in England. This was when the textile industry was king, mills employed thousands and 15 firms alone specialised in rug making.
“When I worked for them it was only a small firm with a few pensioners working part-time as the pension was only 10 shillings a week (50p). They mostly sold wool rugs and carpets.
“I remember helping my dad make rag rugs. We used to call them list rugs. I have had sore fingers when cutting the lists. The man next door was a joiner and made a frame with cogs and rollers and it was much easier making the rugs on this frame than doing them on your knees on the floor or on a table.”