Squashberry mat

Falling Leaves.
Silk or rayon stocking material, dyed; 21" x 27";
Mat maker unknown, ca. 1930

The geometric and floral mats provide an interesting contrast to the mission picture mats. Floral patterns were introduced to meet the increasing demand in the marketplace for hooked mats of the "Colonial type". While the mission did provide standard geometric and floral patterns such as this one to the hookers, many "native pattern scrap mats" of the hookers' own design were accepted and sold under the Grenfell label. These scrap mats were subject to the same careful scrutiny for competent hooking. In the White Bay records for July and August 1924 of the 152 mats shipped, 48 were scrap mats. In the few records available, prices paid for scrap mats equal or exceed those for mission mats. These mats were important for they kept alive traditional ideas and encouraged women to retain their own identity in their craft.

Photo courtesy of Paula Laverty.

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