More Rag Rugs Please

Last year I purchased a rag rug to use in my kitchen. I spent about $40 dollars on a colorful 5ftX4ft rug I’m guessing made in India with all the bright polyester fabrics. I love it. Now make it? Dream on sister. My fabric scraps aren’t nearly so colorful and I’m not about to go buy fabric to make a rag rug. So I put that idea away.

A few months ago in October I went to a heritage festival in New Carlisle and found a woman crocheting rag rugs. They were gorgeous. She showed me how to tear long strips from lengths of fabric. Old sheets give the best yield. Just snip and tear and the strips become the yarn.

Later that month I asked my sister if she had some old sheets she wanted to get rid of. Lucky me, she had a huge Spacebag full of old faded comforters in her basement ready to give me.

I started tearing the strips. It must have looked fun because mom started in on tearing strips too. By the end of the day we had a basketful of yarn.

Mom tearing sheets for rag rugs

Mom tearing sheets for rag rugs

I crochet a rug as I saw at the festival. I liked it okay but the crocheting was hard on the fingers. So I put the project away for a spell.

First Crocheted rag rug

First Crocheted rag rug

Fast forward to November, I took a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia. In one of the gift shops I saw braided rag rugs. The strips were first braided then, zigzag stitched by machine into a finished rug. I liked them but the machine stitching turned me off.
I could do the braids then whipstitch the rug together with thread by hand and get a similar look but couldn’t it be done faster?

So the resulting experiment was a rug made by braiding the strips then using the same strips to whipstitch them together. Eureka! A nice, durable rag rug that is fast and simple to make. I have one in front of the kitchen sink and one at the patio entrance for now. We’ll see how long they hold up. So far so good.
I think I will use this technique again.

Fabric braid

Fabric braid

First whip stitched rag rug

First whip stitched rag rug