Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 19 > Page 43 - The Story of the Cheticamp Rug

Page 43 - The Story of the Cheticamp Rug

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/6/1 (384 reads)

ish colour. In those times when 'hey were hooking rugs they were mostly making their borders in black. So it was easy to dye any colour of wool black. For the centre of the rug they used to keep the white wool aside • they used to dye that to make roses in the centre. But then it was so primitive. For the background they would use perhaps grey socks and grey mitts • and then all the rest they would dye black for the border. Every? thing was used. Whatever white they'd have they were always saving it to dye. At that time it was only red, blue, purple, and sometimes yellow • all striking colours. It was too harsh. Miss Burke first got the women to dye their yarn different colours for rugs • because she Wood and coal stoves can be dangerous. If you want to beat the high cost of heating by using a wood or coal stove, be sure that the installation is safe. Special attention should be paid to: -the condition of the stove -protection for the floor and nearby walls the flue and chimney system. For more information on safe usage of coal and wood stoves and a copy of "60 Ways to Prevent Fire in Your Home" write to: Insurance Bureau of Canada The Maritime Centre 1505 Barrington St. B3J 3K5 lr surorvce Bureooj of CorNodo Bureau d'ossuroAce du Coixoda was an artist in paint. She had never hooked a rug but she knew how to mix colours to? gether. At last we were making our colours from just the three • yellow and blue and red. From that we were making all colours. Today, it's so easy. You can get all col? ours • buy packages of dye and you don't have to mix them together. Once they started sel? ling rugs, it was all commercial dyes. They just wouldn't have been able to gather from the woods all the things they'd need to make their dyes. I have seen them putting 15 col? ours in just one rose. I'm going to tell you the truth. They never made their dyes, not when they were selling. They never had time enough. You try and make a big rug and gather the dyes for it from the woods. You could do maybe a couple of . rugs a year • that's all. We used to buy our dyes. And I don't believe Miss Burke ever said she used vegetable dyes, but some peo- • ple used to say that. But you couldn't get any better colours than those we got with commercial dyes. We used to make all colours with the three shades • yellow, red, and blue. We used to make all shades, even a light grey • you'd never think of it. And they were fast dyes. (Were people selling rugs before Miss Burke came?) No, they were keeping them for them? selves. They were mostly rag rugs. And I've seen people who didn't have much use for them • they used to roll them and they used to put them away. If their daughter would get married they'd give it to her. And there were some people going around with big trucks. They were giving oilcloth for the floor and they'd take the rugs. There was a woman at Point Cross • she was using her house for that. The fellow would come with a load of stuff and leave it there and she would collect the rugs. She would trade the value in rugs. And at last they were trading for clothes, underclothes, coats for men and women • all traded for rag rugs. I think Miss Burke was around here by then • but for her rugs only nice wool yarn was used, not rags. There's a lot of people dur? ing the Depression who lived on the rag rugs. They had children and they could get clothes • even if their rugs were worth more. They couldn't sell them. There was nobody to buy rag rugs then. So they would trade for them. And they were glad. The people who were trading the clothes were glad to have the rugs, and the people down here were glad to get the linoleum and*oilcloth to cover their floors. And goods and everything. It was almost like a store. But I wasn't in business then. No. I was hooking. And I hooked for Miss Burke • a few rugs that I designed myself. I sold them. I think it was in 1924 she came. We all met her because she was staying at Mrs. Willy Aucoin's. She had been staying at Mrs. Dou- cette's down the harbour • but Mrs. Doucette went to Halifax and Mrs. Aucoin took Mrs. Doucette's job. She was kind of looking over how the rugs were made. Miss Burke used to come and bring some big canvas and put peo- Cape Breton's Magazine/43
Cape Breton's Magazine
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