How to Tie Amish Knot Rugs

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An old fashioned rug style, the Amish knot rug is made using a wooden needle and scraps of fabric. Whether small or large, the Amish knot rug can create a primitive look on your table top or on the floor and is coiled as it is made. While these knot rugs would typically be made from scraps of leftover fabric or worn out clothes, you can also make them from new fabric to create a rug that precisely matches the color palette of the room you'll be putting it in.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden craft stick
  • Knife
  • Fabrics
  • Cut a slit into one end of the craft stick with a knife to make your "needle." The slit should be large enough to fit a quarter through.

  • Tear the fabric you want to work with into 2-inch wide strips. Try to keep the strips 2 to 3 feet long if possible for ease of knotting, with no strips shorter than a foot. Pile the strips and select them at random or sort by color and select in an order you prefer to create intentional patterns.

  • Select two strips and tie them together into a knot at one end. In the seated position, place the knot between your knees with the strips running toward you. Slide the free end of one of the strips through the slit in the needle.

  • Hold the needle and its strip in your dominant hand. In the other hand hold straight and firm the free strip, which is your "main" strip.

  • Drape the needle over the main strip to form a loop. Let go of the needle and reach your dominant hand down through the loop and under the main strip to grab the needle. Pull the needle under the main strip and out through the loop. Pull the needle past your knees to pair a new knot next to the starting knot. Repeat this step until you have six knots.

  • Rotate the knots into a coil. Repeat Step 5, but when you drape the needle over the main strip, slip it through the first knot you created to pair the new knot to the coil. Repeat this knotting process as you coil the rug until one of your strips only has 6 inches left.

  • Select the next strip you want to use and tie it with a knot to the 6-inch tail of your short strip. Rethread the wooden needle, if necessary. Continue making connecting knots as you coil and adding new strips when necessary until the rug is the size you want.

  • Knot the ends of the last two strips together close to the coil, clip the tails to only 2 inches long and snake the tails into the coil to hide them using the wooden needle.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using 12 yards of fabric should make a 2-by-3 foot rug.
  • Don't pull your knots too tight or you will have trouble pushing the needle through them when you coil the rug.

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References

  • "Making Rag Rugs"; Clare Hubbard; 2002
  • "The Knitted Rug"; Donna Druchunas; 2004
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