How Do I Make a Braided Rug?

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  • Written By: Judith Smith Sullivan
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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It is not difficult to make a braided rug, but it does take time to gather the materials and braid the three long strands you will need. In addition to the fabric, you need a needle, with a wide eye, and thick thread to make a braided rug. You can use any type of fabric, as long as you can cut it into long strips. Traditionally, braided rugs were made from old clothes, towels, other rugs, or any other type of salvaged material. The result was a rug with many different colors and types of fabrics.

Cut fabric into the longest strips possible. If the fabric is heavy, cut it into 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide strips. If it is medium to thin fabric, cut it into 2 to 3 inch wide (5 cm to 6.5 cm) strips. Stitch the ends of short strips together to make three long strips.

If you want your rug to be a certain color or colors, consider dyeing the strips. It can be difficult to find enough scraps in the color you want to make a braided rug. You could purchase the fabric, but that is expensive because you will need several yards. An alternative is to purchase an inexpensive package of dye mix in the color or colors of your choice and then dye the fabric scraps. This can give your rug a more cohesive look and allows you to customize it to other decor.


After you have cut your fabric into strips, sewn the ends together to create three long strips, and dyed the fabric, if desired, it's time to start braiding. You can use any type of braid, but the most common is the three strand plait. If you chose a four or five strand, the cords will be thicker.

Tie the end of each of the three strips to a sturdy object, like a door knob or the back of a chair. Braid the strips together. After you have finished braiding, thread your needle with a thick, durable thread.

If you want to make a make a braided rug that is round, curl the end of the braided strip under itself and then wrap it into a flat spiral. If you want an oval rug, make the first fold 3 inches (7.5 cm) long, and continue to wrap the braid into an elongated spiral. Push the needle through the middle of the braid, looping the thread in between the strips of fabric, but not piercing the fabric. Sew the layers together as you wind the spiral. Continue until you come to the end of the braided strip.

This type of braided rug will have a rustic, unfinished look, especially as the edges of the fabric fray with time. If you want the rug to look very neat, fold the raw edges of your strips inward, fold the strip in half again, and press. This will hide the raw edges and keep the fabric from fraying.


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