Where it is possible, it is best to use good vegetable dyes, but as these are very hard to obtain, there are numerous other dyes which can be used, all of which necessitate a careful following of the directions given with them. Wool materials can be dyed with a dye intended for cotton, and vice versa. An even colour in dyeing should not be aimed at, as a pretty shaded effect is preferable; this is given by the flannel varying somewhat in shade. Water can be added to the second dye bath; the cloth immersed in this will be a paler shade than that in the first dye bath. It is well, therefore, to mix the strips so as not to get all pale in one, and all dark in the other part of the rug.
Simple Design For A Pulled Rug.
While wool flannel makes much more beautiful and durable rugs, cotton flannel is not to be despised, and artistic rugs can be made from it. It can also be obtained in good colours - the old rose, green, and delft blue all being beautiful in the Shaker flannels.
A study of good Oriental rugs is of inestimable value in combining colour schemes. The way the colours blend and are massed must be carefully studied and thought out. It is very important that pulled rugs should have the richness seen in those from the Orient. Avoid, above all things, any garishness in colouring. To evolve a happy medium of strong rich colour beautifully blended is an art in itself, and needs considerable practice. Some of the most beautiful of these floor coverings have had the following combination of colour beautifully blended. The groundwork of the rug was rich terra-cotta, with a border design in dark blue, while olive green and soft yellow were deftly blended, making the rug harmonious with almost any colour scheme. As in Oriental rugs, the introduction of black or cream is very helpful in getting the desired results, but it must be remembered that colours of the same depth must be combined. A rug with a pale soft field must not have a border in strong contrast, or vice versa. Old rose, soft greens, pale yellows, cream colour, and dark brown all harmonize with tan. They are also very pretty when only two or three colours are used. Blue and white for a delft room, red and black relieved by cream for a living-room, in which red predominates.
The extremely simple designs illustrated are better worked out in colours.
The rug with the border at each end is in two shades of blue, and was made by a beginner. The more elaborate rug is one of Mrs. Albee's, - its workmanship, colouring, and design are excellent, - and it can readily be understood why Abnakee rugs rank as the best of any of the pulled rugs.