Making a braided rug the old fashioned way is much cheaper than buying a ready made rug and provides you with a wonderful craft project for stay-at-home evenings. The rug I am describing for you in this article is a “patchwork” sort of a rug, colorful and without a particular pattern.
The easiest and the cheapest way is to go through your old clothing first and save back all of the knitted and jersey articles to use for your rug. These types of fabrics do not “shred” when scissored and also tend to have a “give” to the fabric that allows for easy braiding.
The first step is to cut all of the fabric into one and a half inch wide strips. Pick out the three strips you want for the first “braiding strip” and pin them together at the top with a large safety pin. (It doesn’t matter if they are of different lengths.) Then just begin to braid. You may want to tie the beginning braid to the back of a chair or some other sort of anchor to start with but you don’t have to. Once you have gotten to within three inches of the end of any of the strips you are braiding, simply add in a new strip by placing it neatly inside of the remaining piece, rolling the two pieces together, and simply continuing on the braid. Note: the “end” of the rug braid is NOT DONE yet, simply use a safety pin at the end of the braid you are working on and leave the braiding strips hanging out so that you can continue the rug to the size you are wanting.we have many different vintage patchwork rugs in Cape Town.
After you have braided a piece that is around six to eight feet in length, you will want to decide whether you want a round rug or an oval rug. The only equipment you need for this step is a large five or six inch long straight “doll” needle (this has a slightly “duller” point and is a sturdy non bendable needle) and waxed beading cord. Simply take the long braided piece and lay it around into a circle or an oval shape and sew this braid together by taking each of the inside loops and weaving your beading cord in and out of the loops. Pull each loop together snugly and shape the rug as you go. It is easier to start this first part of the rug by laying it out onto a large table top to begin stitching the braiding around itself, once you build it up a bit, you no longer need to use the table. Just sit with it in your lap and you can work on it.
All you do to complete your rug is continue to braid your continuous braid and continue to stitch it around itself until you get to the desire size and shape. At the end, sew your last pieces of the braid back into the rug individually with your waxed beading cord for about 10 inches. You will be proud of the colorful area rug and of the work you yourself have put into it, and best of all, you haven’t spent anything and yet you have a easy to wash area rug!