Sarah Hartwell, 2020

This Stoddarts catalogue is probably from 1937 (as postage prices are 3s cheaper then the 1938 catalogue I have). It features several rugmaking methods including traditional hooked, latch hooked and various stitched methods. Stoddarts had an emphasis on using thrums (tail-ends) from the Axminster carpet industry.

It featured an introduction to thrums and information for Women's Institute branches:



Thrums are carpet waste, or more accurately the lengths of wool left on the loom when the carpet is finished. These lengths are too short to be woven but are ideal for the home rugmaker. A good rug depends on good materials. Hard wearing, resilient, spun from long fibres which will not brush off, thrums are intended for hard service under foot. Their best recommendation is that the carpet weavers, who are shrewd and experienced judges, make their own rugs from Thrums. Thrums are cheap. As one of the by-products of industry they cost less and are equally as good as the finest 6-fold rugwool. They are sold in mixed colours depending on the colours in the carpets which have been made. A red and grey carpet leaves red and grey thrums. They are in lengths of between 14 ins. and 3 ft.

During the past 60 years we have pioneered the use of Thrums for home rugmaking and have had many thousands of satisfied customers in all parts of the country and, in fact, the world. We are proud of this record and hope our principles of Quality and Good Service will bring us many more satisfied customers and friends in the next 60 years.

First of all study the colours in your Thrum Bundle and sort the various colours into "blends". Decide which are most suitable for the design and make sure you reserve the largest "blend" for the groundwork. Several shades of one colour or even two suitable ones constitute a "blend". When these are worked together an attractive marled effect is obtained. When your colour scheme has been decided upon cut the wool into lengths on the wood gauge by wrapping the wool round the gauge and cutting down the groove with a pair of scissors or razor blade as required.

We recommend two strands of wool worked together using the Latch Hook and there is ample wool supplied with each outfit for this. If a very thick pile is desired three strands should be used, you will however require more wool if you decide to do this. Instructions for using the Latch Hook are given on page 6 of our book.

For rectangular shapes turn down the raw edges of the canvas to where the design commences and work through both thicknesses. This makes a firm selvedge and no stitching is required. For the half-moon shape leave intact until rug is finished, then cut round the half circle to within about two inches of the wool and sew down. A binding all the way round makes a firmer job.

Please note that in view of the fact that Thrums are sold in mixed colours according to the particular carpets that have been in the making, it is, therefore, obviously impossible to guarantee that the same shades and quantities can always be supplied in Thrums to correspond with the colours shown in our Book, but all the designs shown have been blended as suggested above.

Valuable prizes have been won with rugs made from our Thrums. It is important to us that you make a satisfactory rug. We rely on your recommendations.


As the years go by, so we make more and more friends among Women's Institute members, due no doubt to the fact that Rug-making is such an interesting and lucrative pastime for evening work, particularly during the winter months. To encourage buying we can offer special terms to Women's Institutes. Secretaries who have not yet done so should write for particulars. To save the time and trouble in weighing-out materials we shall be pleased to make separate bundles for each member providing they can be packed in one consignment.

There are a number of efficient Demonstrators taking classes in Rugmaking and many of them use our materials. We do not send out demonstrators but any Institute Instructor intending to demonstrate need only write and say which method is to be employed and we will send material on which members may be shown.

As an instance of what wonderful and pleasing results can be obtained by Home Rug-makers, we should like to draw special attention to the Thrum rugs on the opposite page and to the rug on the rear cover. These Rugs were all made by Women's Institute members using STODDART'S Thrums and show what remarkable results can be obtained with a little care and perseverance.
If you have not yet made one of our Rugs, ask your Secretary to write for our special terms and a full range of samples. We shall be pleased to give you any information and advice.

Finally, where Women's Institute Stationery is not used, please mark your letter clearly, "W.I.".

May we also draw your attention to our TEXTILE CLEARING HOUSE DEPARTMENT which has become extremely popular with W.I's. For this department we issue a monthly list of BARGAINS IN REMNANTS which are ideally suitable for sewing classes, sales of work, etc. Here are a few examples:-

NYLON REMNANTS in pastel shades for underwear, blouses, etc.
COTTON PRINT REMNANTS in attractive designs.
CALICO REMNANTS for mattress covers, ironing sheets, etc.
TOWEL REMNANTS—white and coloured.
WASHED RUG CANVAS REMNANTS for dishcloths, paint rubbers, teatowels, etc.
FURNISHING FABRIC REMNANTS including moquette squares for chairs, seats, cushions, etc.

Secretaries please write for detailed list. We will then put the name of your Institute on our Mailing List. Representative parcels of the items you would like to see will be sent on a "Sale or Return" basis and you only pay for the goods you decide are suitable. This offer can only apply to W.I's., Townswomen's Guilds, Social Services Clubs, Education Authorities, etc., and where possible official notepaper should be used.

REMEMBER - STODDARTS have been established for over 60 years and our guarantee of complete satisfaction or money refunded is our bond.


You may wonder why we are so enthusiastic about our Thrums. Our answer is that we have supplied so many thousands of these Thrums Bargain Bundles, and received so many hundreds of appreciative letters from satisfied customers that we know exactly how pleased you will be when you have made your first Rug from one of our Thrums Bundles.

When you handle this Wool you will realise at once that it is Wool which the normal individual cannot buy in the ordinary way: in other words, it is made specially for Carpet weaving, and it is only because when a carpet is finished, there are always some loose ends left of the warp, which have to be cut away, that we are provided with ‘Thrums as we in Yorkshire call them. This Carpet Wool is specially spun with long fibres which, because it does not easily "brush out" provides a longer wearing Rug than those made with short fibre wool.

Although every Bargain Bundle of Thrums is composed of what appears to be a jumble of colours, these can be sorted out, with very little care, into a useful assortment of different coloured lengths, to form blends to suit your own fancy. The difference in cost between Thrums and ordinary Rug Wool is considerable, as will be seen by a comparison of the prices shown in this booklet.

See Flickr where images and patterns can be downloaded at full resolution for your own use.



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