This Wagga Rug was made from four wheat bags by Norman Robertson and used on the beds in the family home at Coolamon NSW. Max's daughter-in-law Mary purchased a new sewing machine in the mid 1950s and decided to cover the Wagga Rug. She purchased striped cottage twill at Kelly and Cunningham in Wagga Wagga NSW and put a wholecloth cover on it. This Wagga Rug remains in the family, is valued and was used until about 1995. Norman Robertson worked on properties in the Coolamon district of NSW and also at Pike's Flour Mill. One of his jobs was sewing up bags of wheat on farms. He made the Wagga Rug to use on beds in the sleepout of the Coolamon house where the family slept summer and winter. Max, Norman's son (born 1933) worked unloading wheat trucks on a Saturday morning when he was a schoolboy. Max later used the Wagga Rug on his many motor bike trips around Victoria and usually carried it in another wheat bag. In 1960 when Max and Mary were married they took the Wagga Rug (now covered with the twill) in their panel van. The family still has the old style bag needle that was used in making the wagga rugs.
[Refer to the excellent photographs in 'Coolamon Through the Eye of the Camera' Max Robertson, especially pages 90 and 91, Wheat at the railway yards.]
This traditional wagga rug is made from four jute wheat bags joined lengthwise (upopened) by sewing with a bag-needle and twine. It did not have a cover. In the 1950s it was covered with striped cottage twill on both sides. Originally there was no padding and now the bags are the padding.
1950 x 1130mm