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RILEYVILLE, PA — A rag rug is something more than a bit of cloth on a floor. Memories, clothing, shreds of tablecloth, are interwoven.
Stanley Krasovic, the man behind Stan’s Rugs in Rileyville, has been weaving rugs for 15 years, using his mother’s loom. His work has become sought-after; Stan has some great stories to share, and the rugs themselves can be found on Honesdale’s Main Street as well as in his home.
A retired technical writer with no background in rug-making, he restored the loom over a couple of months. The first rugs were made from “barrels and barrels of rags,” he said, rags that had been stored up over the years. Now he uses whatever comes to hand: jeans, sheets, people’s castoff bits of fabric. You name it, almost anything cloth could be a floor covering.
The width is dictated by the width of the loom (26” to 28” in this case) and the length is as long as it needs to be.
“I have no idea what they’re going to look like until they’re finished,” Krasovic said. There are small throw rugs and long runners, the colors ranging from bright to muted. Depends on what was available, the way rugs were made in pioneer days.
“People ask how long it takes to make one,” he said. Basically, it takes as long as it takes. Preparing and finishing the rags and warping the loom occupy the most time: rags need to be sliced into two-inch strips, some are dyed, and they are all sewn together into a long strip that is wound on a drill-powered, homemade reel. Then the loom is warped, and “That takes the most time,” he said. The weaving itself is comparatively quick.
The final product is easy to care for, said Krasovic’s wife Eileen. “You can machine wash them.” And they last practically forever.
Milkweed, on Honesdale’s Main Street, sells Krasovic’s work, and other rugs are available at his house.
“I sell them to make,” he says with a smile, “because I enjoy the process.”
Stan’s Rugs can be found at Milkweed, 1019 Main St., Honesdale, or contact Stanley Krasovic at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570/251-7887.