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.