Knowing how to make a braided rug can be a great way to beautify and inexpensively cover your floor.
There’s nothing more satisfying than making something with your own hands like a braided rug and displaying it in your home.
Every time you look at it, you will feel a great sense of pride and satisfaction.
Before making a braided rug, there are some things to be considered.
It’s important to have an idea of what shape you would like your rug to be as well as whether or not you would like to incorporate a certain design into the rug.
With regards to color choices, it is common to use one color per section or you may use a solid color for the rug.
Knowing what type of material you would like your rug to be made of is important. Generally, wool and cotton are the most commonly used materials. Wool lends itself to being a good choice because it is a beautiful and durable material that can last for many years when properly cared for.
While cotton is not as durable as wool, it also can last many years and appears to be the most popular choice.
- Materials You Will Need
- Preparation and Three Strand Braiding
- Determine the Shape of Your Braided Rug
- Properly Caring for Your Braided Rug
Materials You Will Need
- Fabric, such as wool or cotton
- Strong thread
- Large curved upholstery needle
Selecting the right fabric for your braided rug depends on your personal preference. However, the most adaptable fabrics are wool and cotton. For a variegated effect, you may use three or four different colors.
Preparation and Braiding
It is important that proper preparation of braiding strips take place. You want to cut the material into strips of 1”-3” wide. What determines the width is the weight of the fabric. If the fabric is heavier, then you want to make narrower strips. If you have thinner material, you want to make the strips wider.
You want to sew the strips together in a diagonal fashion in order to prevent thickness at the seam when folded for braiding. Make sure that each strip has the same thickness to avoid the finished product from rippling. You want to take each strip and then fold each side to the center and then fold the strip in half. If you wish, you can slip stitch these strips to prepare for braiding.
You only want to sew 8 or 9 feet of strips together at one time or the braid will become tangled. Take the end of the braid and join it to something stable. Make a mental note of the strips by numbering them from one to three going from left to right and then commence braiding. You want to pass strip #3 over the center strip #2 and under strip #1. You want to continue this same process until 3 of 4 yards are braided.
Bear in mind that when you begin to braid, you want to turn each edge of the strip about a 1/3 of the way toward the center and then fold the piece over at the center. What this does is it turns the raw edges inside, which conceals them.
Determine the Shape of Your Braided Rug
To make an oval rug, you want to begin the center braid, which measures as long as the difference between width and length of the finished version. For instance, a 6’ x 9’ rug requires a 3 foot center braid while a 4’ x 6’ rug would need a center braid of 2 feet. If you would like to make a runner, you would need to make the center braid at least half the size you want.
If you would like to make a round rug, the directions are similar except that you begin the rug in the form of a spiral. A very short length will be turned back on itself and laced to form a circle from the beginning.
For a rectangular rug, you want to make the beginning braid more than twice as long as the finished length of the rug. This length is measured for the beginning braid and you want to allow at least 1” per foot extra, which may be lost in the first round of lacing. To indicate the first braid, pin the braid at the mark and cut the braid near the pin. You want to lift the second braid to the beginning of the first braid and lace the first and second braids together. Make sure to match loops of braids to achieve the desired pattern. It is better to lace the third braid to the opposite side of the first braid and continue to lace to the alternate sides as braids are added. In doing so, you will end up with a flat rug. Once you are satisfied with the desired size, stitch across each end to each end to secure the braids. You want to stitch rug binding tape across both ends.
What is helpful when trying to get the rug in the desired shape is to wind the braid to make the shape you want your rug to be. Secure the braid with pins to help you with determining the size of your rug. Sew the braid coil once you achieve the desired size and shape. If you want your rug to be bigger, add more strips.
When lacing your rug together, try to do this on a flat surface. Using strong thread and an upholstery needle, lace the rug like you would shoes. You want to do this back and forth inside the braid loops by joining the sides of the braid together. Stitch the braids together tightly and try to hide the stitching by sewing the inside sides of the braid together. Do this until your entire rug is finished.
After finishing the rug, you may need to lightly iron it by placing a damp cloth over it.
Properly Caring for Your Braided Rug
To clean your braided rug, simply gently vacuum both sides of it on a regular basis. This will ensure that the rug is dirt free and prolong its life.
Should you have an accidental spill on your rug, make sure you attend to it as soon as possible. You may use ammonia to spot clean the area, but do not rub. You want to gently blot the area and repeat until the stain is gone.
Lastly, do not beat the rug since it could cause it to become misshapen. Make sure you occasionally use dry cleaning solvent to clean the rug thoroughly and dry on a flat surface to prevent wrinkling.