Braided rug tutorial

Braiding rugs became close to an art form, and going above the skills of someone who wants to make simple and inexpensive floor cover. Rugs are today made from pure wool, carefully designed to fit almost in any interior. They are hand braided and laced with special threads.

Other rugs are braided by machine with an even braids. Big discount stores, department stores and ‘flea markets’ are places where can be find this cheaper version. Also, there are real braided rugs. Rugs the way they were invented, made from real rags from old worn clothing and other random cloths.

Braided rugs are not lifelong, but they could last for years and give you the pleasure of making something beautiful out of nothing. They are great joy to make and give one a sense of full self-content when finished.

How to make it?

Cut the collected cloth into strips about 5 com wide. If your chosen material is too thin, cut it wider. Thicker cloth can be cut narrower and that is the way to make the braids more or less equal in size. Most people  sew the strips together then roll them into a ball, but it is much easier to start braiding and sew the strips together as you go.

At the beginning of braiding, you need a central piece that would not be able to move. These sort of spindle will hold the spool of thread on a sewing machine works well, but if you don’t have that, tie the ends of the fabric strips together and loop them over a some fixed point (handle or door knob, or even close the beginning of the braid in door). This end will be trimmed off later, but that will give you solid start. Keep the material stretched but without any force and braid your three strips just like you would braid hair.

To join strips, hold them together and make a square shape. Sew a diagonal seam to fix the square you formed. Later you will need to trim any excess threads.

When you begin to braid, try to turn the raw edges of strips inside where they would not show or pop out. At the beginning it could be complicated, but as you go steadily it will become the routine.

The start will determine the shape of your rug, so you can start with square center or circular one. The most important thing is to keep braiding and sewing evenly, so the rug will have a nice, sturdy shape and its quality will be better.

Lacing or sewing a rug together is the last step, and should be done on a flat surface. You may want to do this as you go, too, so you can see what the rug will look like, and to keep an eye on the size. A large table or the floor can be used. You can get special needles to lace a rug, or you can use a large darning needle – anything that will guide the thread through the braids.

Use very strong string or special lacing thread and lace the rug like you would lace your shoes. To start, choose to where you want the end of the first braid to be, measure it, then turn the braid backward and start lacing through each of the loops.

While you doing your rug, check from time to time if it is even and flat. If there are any wrinkles, just stop, go back and fix it.

When you have to make a turn, put a few more stitches in the same inner loop while continuing to lace individual loops on the outside. It is important to keep the rug flat.

Keep braiding, sewing and lacing until the rug reach the size you want it. Then, on the last strip, cut them progressively narrower so the last braid could fades into a very narrow one which can disappear in the edge of the rug. At the end, trim the ends of the center braid (be careful not to cut your rug) and tack them firmly against the braids next to them.

 

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3 comments Braided rug tutorial

  1. Cindy says:

    What type of material should I use to make a heavy-duty rug? Thanks

  2. tamara says:

    Hi Cindy, I would say you may use wide range of fabric materials – wool, cotton, linen, as long as they not too thin and flimsy… but more important is to keep braiding tight and stitches even and often (using very strong material). If you expect your rug to be outside or more likely get dirty, think of using synthetic materials.
    I would suggest denim, wool (woolen braided rug may also be felted on surface), strong cottons…

  3. Mary Dadds says:

    I purchased a few wool jackets at a thrift shop.
    Does it matter which way I cut my strips?Do they have to be on the bias?
    Thank you

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