How To Make A Rag Rug


[New England Quilter]
I’m considering making a rag rug. The idea is that you use strips of fabric to make a rug. I’ve never made one before, but it seems like a cool project and a great way to re-use old (read: baby) clothes.
There are all kinds of ways to make a rag rug. They can be made with a loom, a sewing machine, braided, crocheted, knotted, and so on. After some research, I’ve narrowed it down to a few techniques:
1. Braided.

[Home Things Past]
There are two types of braided rugs. In one, fabric strips are braided together until it forms a rug, usually a large oval or circle. Here is a tutorial.
Alternately, you can braid the fabric in one long rope and then sew it together as a rug, like so:

This last method is a lot of work, but it also gives you leeway for manipulating the rug to look the way you want.
2. Crochet.

[Debs Crochet]
You use a crochet hook to crochet the rug. This video shows how:

I’m not very good at crocheting, but this method seems to yield consistently attractive rugs.
3. Knitted.

[Mandy Gerth]
This technique uses knitting needles. It seems to work well for square or rectangular rugs. Here’s more on knitted rag rugs.
4. Loomed.

[Old and Interesting]
As you might expect, you use a loom to make the rug. Most commercial rag rugs are made with looms. But as I don’t have a loom, I’m probably not going to go this route.
5. Woven.

The fabric is criss-crossed the same way thread is woven to make fabric. Usually these rugs are rectangular or square and have tassels at the end. Here’s a tutorial.
6. Latch Hook.

With latch-hook rugs, the cloth is cut into 1 X 5 inch rectangles and knotted onto a non-skid rug mat, like so:

According to this site, “for a thicker rug, knot along every line or knot along every other line for a thinner mat.” (Reminds me of these t-shirt rugs.)
Have you ever made a rag rug? Tell me about it.

12 thoughts on “How To Make A Rag Rug”

  1. I haven’t made one yet, but I think I will attempt to crochet a rug this winter. I’ll start small, and if it doesn’t drive me crazy i’ll do a bigger one!

  2. I’ve made a hooked rug, but with yarn, not fabric scraps. It’s fun to be able to make your own design (abstract or geometric or pictorial)!

  3. Ive made a crocheted rag rug. I love it the only thing i don’t like is the cutting of the 1″ strips very annoying. But after convincing my husband to help it was a lot better.

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  6. Hi, I’m making a rag rug right now – it’s on a handmade loom. I’ve seen it called twining but I don’t think the technique I’m using is actually twining? Does that make sense? I’m using a technique I found in a craft book. My husband and I made the loom out of strips of wood and lots of nails on the end strips. You can see the technique here: http://ouroldcountrystore.blogspot.com/ The sell the looms if you’re interested.

  7. I’d appreciate suggestions for finishing the back of #6 above, the rug with the little girl sitting on it. It was very time consuming but well worth it and it needs a nice backing. I left an edge of about 1 1/2 ” all the way around. Thank you.

  8. What they’re calling knotted is what I would call latch-hooked (as would the other Sandra). I’ve made one to my own design, and like the flexibility that is available. How “puffy” it is would depend on the size of the pieces of fabric you use for each “knot”; you could use narrower than 1×5 rectangles for something more rug-like than the example given.
    Search quilting websites for hints on cutting strips of fabric for whatever method you end up using – it’s the most fiddly (and boring) part of the process.

  9. Hi
    I’m just about to embark on this project I have so much fabric ,mainly curtain material,around and wonder what would be the best way to use it and if it is at all suitable
    Your advise would be appreciated.
    Many Thnks
    Sheila

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