This handmade mat was crafted in tribute to and in the tradition of historical sailors. Both beautifully intricate and adorable, it is made to the description found in the classic book The Arts of the Sailor by Hervey Garrett Smith as his example of a mat which would be found on the doorstep of a sailor’s home.
The knot– known as an Ocean Plat– is woven with a single piece of all natural 3/8-inch manila rope and is framed with a Flemish coil in 1/2-inch manila rope. The coil is sewn with hemp sail thread from the Museum of Ropemaking in Alvängen, Sweden using a 19th century sail needle from England.
– Dimensions are 21 x 16.5 inches. The height is approximately 3/4-inch.
– All materials are all natural and biodegradable.
– The crafting techniques are authentic to historical sailors.
– The mat is durable and low maintenance.
We make our mats using the same techniques which sailors used for centuries. The techniques and materials result in mats that are durable, low maintenance, and weather resistant. Though it is best to keep them from excessive moisture, the mats can be hosed down for easy cleaning—or shaken—and will keep their shape over time. They may arrive from shipment a little out of shape, but all they need is to be pressed out by hand. As they age, they should settle even more into shape. Due to their natural fibers, the mats will swell and shrink slightly when wet or humid. These mats are happy in the home or on the porch, but work best on non-slippery surfaces.
About the Tradition:
Seafarers in the age of sail would knot, coil, and sew old rope into mats. The mats served as chafe protection around the ship; they could be found nailed to heavy wear spots on railings and on deck. Sailors would also make mats which they took home with them from their ships. On land, such a mat would signify the home of a sailor: in the classic work The Arts of the Sailor, by Hervey Garrett Smith, the author tells how in his seafaring hometown he could always tell the home of an old sailor as it’s doorstep was unfailingly adorned with a mat made of rope.