Fall Crafter–Laura White with Pleache’t Technique

We have one more crafter to share with you from our visit to the Harvest Festival. As we wandered around the booths at Silver Dollar City, some beautiful and unique rugs caught our attention.

This particular one was 65 years old, well used, and still in great shape!

Pleache't Rug

Laura White demonstrated a rug making technique called Pleache’t (pronounced to rhyme with crochet- technique combines pleats with crochet) using a needle developed in the early 1900’s by her grandmother, Laura Elizabeth Johnston. Her grandmother sold the needles at fairs. She even created wall to wall “carpeting” in her living room, dining room, hallway and stairs with her rug making technique. Laura White’s late sister, Shirley Wood, introduced this rug making technique to the craft world, and now Laura is carrying on the family tradition by teaching others how to Pleache’t.

Laura White Pleache't Rugs

Pleache't PosterCreator of Pleache't Rugs

The rugs are made by first cutting strips of wool or wool blends and cotton on the bias. The width of the strips determines the thickness of the finished rug. Laura finds old garments at thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, and occasional fabric store from which to cut her strips. She recycles old material into new heirloom rugs. The Rugbee Rug Needle is pointed on one end and has a crochet hook on the other. The strips are looped back and forth onto the pointed end of the needle. Using a string called carpet warp (which is what weavers use on a loom) she joins the strips together with crochet stitches. There is no sewing involved in making these rugs.

Pleachet

The color design of the finished rug is determined by the cut edges of the wool strips, not the actual pattern of the fabric surface. She says that sometimes the ugliest fabric makes the prettiest rugs. Rugs can be made in round, oval or rectangle shapes. If you want to start small, you can make soft chair pads. The rugs last a long time even with lots of use. “The more you use them the prettier they get.” (Shirley Wood)

Laura White Pleache't Rugs

Laura sells the Rugbee Rug Needles along with an instructional video and book. You can even have her come teach a class on rug making to your group. She is scheduling classes now for 2015. You can contact her for more information at her Facebook page, Rugbee Rugneedle. Doesn’t making a rug sound like a great winter project as you cozy up next to the fire with a cup of coffee?

UPDATE: July 2016- Laura now has a website from which you can order materials and instructions: pleachet.com


Comments

Fall Crafter–Laura White with Pleache’t Technique — 24 Comments

  1. I am interested in getting Laura Whites pleache’t rug instructional video. I picked up a Rugbee Rugneedle at Silver Dollar City decades ago and just ran across it recently. I would love to make these rugs. Thanks.

  2. I am interested in purchasing the rug bee needle and instructions. First. Read about this in an old workbasket magazine

  3. Dear Laura,

    We met at Silver Dollar City. Loved your artwork. Your rugs were beautiful. What a nice way to recycle material and fabric from clothing. Would you please email me again the cost of your grandmother’s crochet hook and needle, plus your video. I would like to order your kit.

    Thank you so much. This a very unique style of making a one of kind rug.

    Sheila

  4. I love my rug!! I was so glad to meet you in person at SDC. I could have sat with you for a week and just did the rugs.

  5. My husband and I spent a lovely hour at SDC with Laura. I am working on my first rug and it is turning out even better than I expected. Laura’s kit (with the DVD) is easy to understand and beautifully done.

  6. Could you put me in touch as well please? I saw her at the quilt show in hampton, va, but my daughter was getting restless, so I didn’t get to get any information except her card.

  7. My grandmother use to make rugs like this and I remember that she had a special needle and used wool that she would cut from old clothing. I have always wanted to learn how to do this and regret that I never had her teach me. Can you please tell me the best way to get information on getting supplies and instructions learn this? Thank you!

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