Category: Progging and hooking

Proggy mats are a traditional mat made from hessian backing and little strips of fabric. A strip is pushed through a hole in the hessian and back out through another. The taut side is the underneath and the strippy side is the top. The strips of fabric came from old blankets and clothes — sometimes while they were still being worn, if the wearer had dared to fall asleep. The whole family would sit in front of the fire, with one of the parents making the mat and the children cutting up strips with scissors. Some mats had a random design, some had patterns, some had pictures. They were nearly always bordered in black or navy, presumably so the dirt wouldn’t show up. A newly finished mat would go on the bed; then it would migrate to the bedroom floor, and eventually end up in the kitchen, in front of the fire.

Hooky mats are made from long ribbons of fabric and look like the reverse side of a proggy mat on both sides.