How to Make a Rug

Use these step-by-step instructions on how to make a braided rug using old clothing to create a colorful throw.

| November/December 1971

"Snug as a bug in a rug". When Ben Franklin coined that phrase it probably described exactly how he felt... sitting in his platform rocker in front of a cozy Franklin stove, with his head in the clouds and his feet resting warmly on a braided rug.

The practical comfort of braided rugs would have been completely compatible with the frugal and ingenious creator of Poor Richard . . . they effectively insulate the floor from cold and the eye from barrenness.

The beauty of it all is that braided rugs are just as practical and just as comfortable now as they were 200 years ago . . . and you can probably handcraft a sturdier one today for less cost and effort than ever before.

The trick is in salvaging the jetsam of a cast-off society . . . unwearable or irreparable clothes—even old blankets—can all be cut up and used.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make a rug.

Ideally, raw materials for a braided rug should be pure wool . . . it even seems a little heretical to construct one out of synthetics. Besides . . . wool wears well, repels moisture, is warm and assumes a pleasing depth of color.

1/8/2018 5:40:11 PM

Perhaps the braid buckles when the stitching is too tight ? Have you ever thought of working from the outside in?

Bonnie Sutton
1/27/2011 3:46:14 PM

I'm in the process of making a braided rag rug, I'm working on making it an oblong shape , I'm joing the braids by hand .I've torn it out once and started it from scratch ,it was all deformed,this time it seems like it wants to curl,I ironed both sides to see if I could help flatten it out but its still curling, and I'm getting frustrated and feel like I dont know what I'm doing , I'm enjoying the process of making a rug but I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong? can anyone help me, so the rug turns out nice.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!