Handmade Braided Rugs: Put Together a No-Sew Braided Rug

Follow these tips for your handmade braided rug, and use Grandma's four-strand braid and interlocking method to cut down on the amount of sewing necessary to finish your oval braided rug.

| July/August 1986

  • 100-061-01
    By using Grandma's four-strand braid and interlocking method, your handmade, braided rug can require very little sewing!
    ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 100-061-01

Here's an attractive, old-fashioned floor cover that barely requires sewing! Handmade braided rugs, braided the way your grandmother did it, can save you money and make your house cozy.

The familiar braided wool rug has certainly stood the test of time, but my grandmother taught me — years ago — how to put together a handmade braided rug, one that eliminates the whole process of sewing the rug together, and gives the rug maker greater control over his or her colors.

Best of all, since my grandmother's rugs are made from inexpensive cotton, synthetic or blended fabric scraps, they don't cost much to make, and they're washable!

To begin, gather a pile of fabric scraps. Cut these scraps and rags — on either the lengthwise or crosswise grain — into the longest strips possible. These bands should be 2 inches wide and (ideally) 3 to 5-feet long (tear the strips — when you can — to save time, and sew short pieces together to get the right lengths).



Next, fold each strip's raw edges into the center, and then refold along the middle of the strips to hide those turned-under edges. If you do have a sewing machine, stitch the folds closed as you go to make a permanent crease. If you don't own a machine, just baste or iron the folds in place.

Sort the strips — by color — into bags or boxes. You don't have to fuss too much over the design, but even a hit-or-miss pattern will look sharper if a particular color (usually a dark one) is saved for the outer border.

Carolrathburm
4/24/2018 8:36:30 PM

I wish there had been a Video I can't read very well dislexic


Carolrathburm
4/24/2018 8:36:29 PM

It would have more Understandable if you had a Video I'm not good at Reading sorry


Wench5312
1/1/2018 1:54:38 PM

If you sew at all all you are doing is making seam binding. The difference is you sew this together instead of attaching it to a seam or edge. Raw edges are more rustic so you would not have to make this binding, but fraying is a mess. If this still is unclear check out youtube.







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