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The Scalloped Doormat Or Tongue Rug

( Originally Published 1914 )

The scalloped doormat or "tongue" rug gets its name from the shape of the piece of cloth from which it is built up. It is our second example of a needle-made rug and logically follows the braided rug. It is made with the sewing needle.

Though not as frequently seen as some of our other rugs, it deserves careful attention for its technique is quite amenable to artistic direction. Its tongue-shaped unit or scallop is cut out of odds and ends of woolen cloth, and sewed on a burlap foundation. These scallops should never be made of cotton as cotton does not wear well with this treatment. The more closely woven the fabric of which the scalloped doormat is made, the more serviceable it is. Loosely woven cloth is apt to fray. Old bits of broadcloth are a satisfactory material to use.

The scalloped or tongue-shaped units are sewed on the burlap foundation in precisely the same way in which shingles are laid on the roof of a house. That is, they begin at the out-side edge and work in toward the center. An-other illustration of the construction of the scalloped doormat is that of the overlapping scales of the pine cone.

For a rug 4 ft. in diameter, 1 yard red cloth, 2 1/2 yards gray cloth and 2 balls black knitting silk are required.


It is a curious fact that the structure of design in handicraft almost always corresponds to some type of growth in nature. In this in-stance, the structure of a scalloped doormat is identical with that of the pine cone and as the structure of the pine cone is geometric the de-sign of the scalloped doormat will consequently be formal. If surface pattern be developed it must come through the repetition of tone or color value at regular intervals on the structure or line action.


The shape of the unit or scallop may vary somewhat but the elongated form rounded at the edge which coincides to the shape of the scale of the pine cone is most practical, for it has less tendency to turn up and fray. Each scallop must be finished all around with a button-hole stitch before it is sewed down on the burlap foundation. After the scallops are all sewed on, they are held in place on the foundation by a star-shaped stitch.

For this chapter a round mat has been chosen as the model. It is to be made of red Section of scallops showing alternating placement, and gray cloth. The red cloth should be pre-pared according to the directions, given in chapter on the hooked rug, for preparing commercially dyed flannel. Both the red and gray scallops are to be button-holed with coarse black knitting silk and the star stitch is also to be made with this silk. The design which is shown in the accompanying plan is very easy to work out. The scallops in the lighter value on this pattern correspond to the gray and those in the darker value to the red. Cut the oblong pieces of cloth in two sizes: 2 1/4" x 3 1/2" for larger size, and for the smaller, on the scallops near the rug's center, 2" x 3". Lay -them together to round off the edges with a pair of scissors. This same pattern may be carried out in blue and gray and button-holed with white or in medium blue and white and buttonholed with a dark blue. All these colors can be bought in a medium quality of closely woven flannel or cloth. Old green billiard cloth with any closely woven black material makes a charming doormat. The dye recipes for wool in the chapter on the hooked rug may be applied to white cloth, and interesting color schemes produced. Combinations of contrasting colors can be carried out, though the design is more successful when there is not too much difference between the color values. A very attractive rug may be made in two tones of yellow, using the natural dyes recommended in the following chapters: Recipe for iron buff in the chapter on the needle-woven rug, which though it is there used on cotton can in this instance be also used for wool, and the fustic yellow in the chapter on the batik or wax process which is silk dye and therefore can be used to dye the lighter tone of yellow woolen cloth for the mat.

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