Penny Rugs – Textiles

Felt penny rug, late 19th century

p4A ItemID E8880452
American penny rug, late 19th-early 20th century, polychrome wool felt on cotton twill

p4A ItemID E8852838
Penny table rug, 19th/early 20th century

p4A ItemID F7959705
AMERICAN PENNY RUG, early 20th century

p4A ItemID F7955644

Penny Rugs

During the last quarter of the 19th century, thrifty homemakers found an economical way to use left over pieces of fabric that were too small to use in braided or hooked rugs. The scraps of left over fabric, usually from men’s suits or blankets, were sewn around circular pieces of thick wool. These were then attached to form small rugs and were used in a variety of ways – decorative table mats or more usually as hearth rugs to protect floors from burning logs. Many of these penny rugs did not survive because of their practical heavy usage.

-Lois Thomas, editor, April 2008.

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