What’s Happening at the Market: Find happy, sustainable rugs

With more than 10 years under her belt at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market, Diane Frandsen of Raggedy Rug Company knows precisely where her upcycled rugs belong in your home.

“Front door, back door, indoor, outdoor, under the furniture, or beneath the kitchen sink, wherever you think!” This is the slogan Frandsen presents each market Saturday to describe her hand-woven, machine-washable rugs made from discarded fabric materials.

Upcycling — a term used to describe the reuse of discarded objects or materials in a way that creates a product of higher quality or value than the original — is of high importance to Frandsen, with the great majority of her raw materials being originally discarded from local thrift stores and consignment shops.

“There’s enough stuff on this world already, we really don’t need to be producing new products to make stuff,” Frandsen says. “Discarded fabric is so much better in a beautiful rug than a landfill or a whale’s belly.”

Adding to their environmentally positive impact, Frandsen’s rugs are known to last for decades.

“You’re not just purchasing a rug, you’re purchasing an heirloom,” she says.

Frandsen has been a rugmaker for more than 40 years. It all started way back in a high school class, where Frandsen was first given the opportunity to sit at a loom.

“I wove for the hour of that class and man, I just fell in love with the motion and feeling of it,”she recalls. “When I was sitting there, there was a peacefulness in my brain and body.”

By 1978, Frandsen had acquired her first loom at an army surplus store and spent the following 10 years honing her craft and perfecting what she calls her rug-making rhythm.

Today, she and her husband have streamlined the Raggedy Rug-making process together.

Once Frandsen says “Let’s start rugs!” they begin their work in their living room-turned-rug-studio complete with a beautiful view of the Olympic Mountains. Frandsen sits down at the loom and begins to weave with her husband to her right, preparing the fabric and intentionally selecting the color patterns.

Each rug measures approximately 2 feet by 3 feet in size; however, Frandsen is quick to dispel the notion that anything is precise when it comes to Raggedy Rug Company. Each rug is its own creation, completely one of a kind and made with a caring purpose.

“They’re happy little rugs; they are,” Frandsen says. “They just put a smile on your face. You just feel them and you know they’re happy.”

Each creation takes around five hours by the time Frandsen completes each handcrafted rug with individual knotting and what she calls, “beefy reinforcement to the edges” which ensure each piece’s renowned durability.

“Then the rugs are ready to go to the market,” she says. “My goal is to have a rug in every house in Clallam County!”

With arms painted with vibrant tattoos collected over the past four decades, Frandsen is a creative, first and foremost. Market guests have come to rely both on her rugs and the chance to catch up with the artist herself every Saturday. Oftentimes, out-of-town travelers return annually to stock up on her functional creations.

“I was asked one time, ‘What is your dream?’” Frandsen says. “That question took me by surprise, because jeez, I’m living my dream!

“I like that I get to put my rugs out there and people like to look at them, feel them, and take them home. I just like sharing my rugs with people.”

Raggedy Rug Company is at the Sequim Farmers and Artisans Market every Saturday from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. through October. Visit your community market at Sequim Civic Center Plaza at North Sequim Avenue and West Cedar Street.

Be sure to tune in on Thursday at 4 p.m. to KSQM 91.5 FM for the live radio “Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market Update.”

Emma Jane Garcia is director of the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market. See sequimmarket.com.

Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market

Open: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 30

Location: Sequim Civic Center Plaza and Centennial Place, downtown Sequim

More info: manager@sequimmarket.com

On the web: sequimmarket.com