Are the rush mats historical? Yes. We have a lot of evidence, that sea rush was used to make various types of braids, including mats.
As you can see in the photo, mats with a similar weave were known in Europe around 1400. It is a painting by an unknown artist from Austria, depicting the Nativity. On it, Mary rests on a woven mat, and two women take care of the child.
Need a source for another era? You can find much more in our article about the history of rush mats!
The rush mats available in our store are made using exactly the same technique as some of the Naqlun mats. Each mat is hand-braided. It is made with a two-system technique, similar to weaving. You will find double warp threads at equal intervals from each other, through which the weft is interwoven. This results in a distinctive sectioned pattern.
The mats are made of dried raw material, so care should be taken to ensure that they are not soaked. They have little resistance to water, and while morning dew is not terrible for them, a larger rainstorm can damage them. If they become damp, they should be dried immediately – preferably in the sun, away from heat sources (campfire). To clean the mat, it is best to brush it with a soft brush. Shake it out after each use.
Why do you need a woven mat? It has many uses that will be perfect for historical reconstruction, but not only. It can be used as:
- a mattress pad, it will be great for insulating it from the ground (and dirt),
- as a sleeping mat – as it can be rolled up like a regular sleeping mat, it is suitable for taking into the field as well! It will be an excellent addition to traditional bushcraft equipment,
- as sitting mats, at the campfire and any other place you want, they insulate great from the ground.
No one will also forbid you to use them like English nobility – as a rugs.
Sea rush is a plant historically used for making various types of braids – mats, baskets or fish traps. In addition, it is very resistant to crushing and flexible, which is superior to, for example, wicker, which is flexible but rigid, making it impossible for a wicker mat to roll up. Sea rush is also easy to clean, dries quickly and looks great.