Another interpretation of ‘Upcycling’

 

Fashion-21st-century-ditzyWe live in fascinating times on our beautiful planet. Every now and then somebody will comment on some bizarre aspect of human behaviour and query what a visiting Martian would make of us and our ways.

From-Sunday-Times-Style-magazine-deconstructed
Article about the £880 jeans ‘upcycled’ from two new pairs from the Sunday Times Style magazine.

I’d like to suggest it wouldn’t just be a passing alien that would be baffled, but 99% of the human population would probably consider cutting up two NEW pairs of jeans to make one new pair madness. And, what’s more, the totally sublimely self-regarding fashion elite call the process upcycling.

Can’t use the label upcycled for my gardening jeans, but they were definitely given a new lease of life when repaired with ‘recycled’ denim patches culled from an ancient pair of jeans. Another pair so old and falling to pieces that even I wouldn’t wear them for gardening.

What do you think? Okay, not such a flattering cut, but looking at the two photos, give mine a good hot wash to remove the mud, and, perhaps they’re almost on trend. Of course, they need to be styled with vintage leather boots and a perfect, crisp white shirt. Or perhaps not, and what about the other outrageously wasteful pair? At a mere £880, I think not, and, on principle most certainly not.

 

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Rag Rugs – Upcycling for the 21st Century

My Kitchen Rag Rug

There is a display at the Time and Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk that shows a 1940s bedroom with an old-fashioned rag rug placed in front of the fire.

Time & Tide Museum.
1940s bedroom fireplace at the Time & Tide Museum.
rag rug
Simple patterned rag rug.

I remember my Grandmother had one similarly placed in her sitting room only hers was to protect her polished floorboards from sparks. And, the little rug disappeared whenever there were visitors.

Now, I said ‘old-fashioned’, but perhaps I should have said vintage or ‘upcycled’. In 1997, remembering that little rug I persuaded my mother to ‘prod’ one for me. She was very patient. I drew out the design on a piece of hessian, provided her with a colour guide and gave her a bundle of old woollen cloth.

Notebook pagesThe rich colours, the dark red, brown and purple, are from old coats bought from charity shops along with some old blankets. Blankets tend to wear out in the middle leaving the edges still thick and useful. I cut off the edges and dyed them to make the oranges and pinks.

The colour guide I gave to my mother - found in my old 'dyes' notebook (bit of luck).
The colour guide I gave to my mother – found in my old ‘dyes’ notebook (bit of luck).

After several weeks, my very, very patient mother finished this three feet by four feet rag rug.

Kitchen rag rug

Originally made for a bedroom in a previous house, the rag rug is now in my kitchen. Ten years on the kitchen floor and it’s wearing very well!