How to Make an Indian Rag Rug

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Indian rag rug making is an easy project that not only produces lovely and unique rugs, but if you use recycled fabric, these rugs cost almost nothing to make. In a short amount of time, an Indian rag rug can be completed.


Using natural colors and natural fibers, Indian women have historically made these rugs to bring warmth and simple decor to their homes. Traditionally, earth colors, like red, brown, yellow, green and black, are used in these rugs.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 yards of cotton fabric in 3 contrasting colors
  • Needle
  • Sturdy thread
  • Scissors

Make an Indian Rag Rug

  • Wash and dry the fabric if it is new. If it is recycled fabric, this is not necessary.

  • Tear the fabric into 1- to 1 1/2-inch strips from selvage to selvage. It is fine for these strips to be rough, and they do not have to be precise.

  • Place the strips into three separate piles.

  • Place the same colored strips together with right sides facing each other and sew the strips together from short end to short end. This will produce three very long strips of fabric--one strip of each color.

  • Braid the three strips together in a standard braiding fashion. This will result in a very long braided piece of fabric made of all three colors.

  • Roll the fabric braid up tightly into a coil beginning in the center. As the coil is rolled, take a needle threaded with sturdy thread and stitch the braid tightly. You will be slowly coiling the braided fabric and securing it with small stitches while rolling. Continue to coil the fabric braid and stitch until the fabric braid is all coiled.

  • Assess the size of the rug. If it is big enough, make sure that the coils are all securely fastened, and the rug is finished. If the rug isn't large enough, make another fabric braid piece, attach it to the rug where you left off and make the rug larger. Secure the rug tightly with stitches to finish the rug.

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