How to Make a Braided Area Rug

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Rugs are a wonderful accessory to enhance the beauty of any room. They add warmth, color and style to complement the furniture. Instead of buying costly rugs, it is more affordable and efficient to make your own special rug using the simple braiding technique.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric scraps in your required colors A spool of nylon or any synthetic thread Scissors Needles

Braiding

  • Begin by cutting the fabric scraps diagonally to achieve long strips of fabric around 3 inches wide. You need three long strips for braiding, so join the ends of the scraps together to form three long chains. The pattern depends upon how you join the strips together, if you want a multicolored rug, join random colored scraps. However if you want an alternate-patterned rug, sew similar colored fabric on each of the three chains (for instance starting with white then joining purple, red, brown and then black).

  • Making a 2-by-3-foot round or oval rug will require one foot of center braid, similarly a 3-by-5-foot rug will require 2 feet of braid. So measure your braid as you go, adding scraps and pieces as needed.

  • Sew the top of the three fabric chains together, then start braiding them using the simple braiding technique until you reach the end of the scraps. You can also chose to make different colored braids first, joining the next color simultaneously. For example, braid the orange scraps together first, then, when you reach the ends, sew in the red scraps and continue braiding, adding colors as per you desire.

  • Tie the ends of the braid together to keep it from unraveling. Make sure to braid tightly, otherwise the fabric ends will start to fray and it might loosen when washed.

Sewing the braids

  • Start coiling the braid from one corner, selecting the color that you want to place in the center. It can be either a dark color or the lightest shade in contrast to the dark border.

  • Stitch the inside of the coil tightly with nylon thread to form a firm base for making rest of the rug. Now keep coiling the braid around the center coil, sewing them together as you go onwards. Make sure to keep the braid straight and flat by pressing it with one hand as you sew with the other.

  • Reaching then end of your coiled rug, tuck in the ends between the folds and sew them down firmly. Tuck in any frayed edges or loose threads and sew them down firmly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Knitted fabrics are preferred in braided rugs rather than woven cotton, which shrinks and fades in a short time. Handmade braided rugs are washable by hand in warm soapy water.
  • Do not use cotton or any thin yarn to sew the braids as it will deteriorate in time, thus unraveling and spoiling the rug. Check the fabric colors prior to braiding for any weak dying. Knitting yarn can also be used in place of fabric scraps; however it will make a thinner and flatter rug.

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  • Photo Credit www.margesbraidedrugs.com/bets.jpg
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