Mat making was an example of people pulling together during hard times. It drew families very close and gave us a real sense of togetherness.
You first started with a piece of hessian stretched onto a wooden frame which was tightened by means of slots and peg holes. You then used any old clothes and materials you had and you also asked the neighbours if they had any. You then cut them into strips of approximately two inches by one inch for a clippy mat and longer lengths for a hooky mat. You then drew any pattern you fancied which was usually squares with a border, but sometimes flowers.
Then we would all sit around together, the neighbours too if they wanted, armed with our proggers. These were metal spikes, one with a hook for a hooky mat and the other a straight one for a clippy mat. For a clippy you made two holes and pushed the material through, for a hooky you weaved the material through a line of holes. The clippy mat finished with a shaggy pile while the hooky had a much harder surface.
We loved seeing the patterns take shape with the myriad of colours we used, it really brightened up the house when it was first put down. Some people put them on their beds in very cold weather. Mat making was another example of people pulling together during hard times and it drew families very close and gave us a real sense of togetherness.