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Traditional Braided Wool Rug

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At the current 26 x40

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Here are some details about my project:
Category Other
Style Eco-Friendly, Retro / Vintage, Casual, Traditional
dottyeb on

What materials did you use? 100% repurposed wool from garments and blankets.

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What are you most proud of? I am so happy to be able to continue an age old hand craft that results in a very useful and eco-friendly home decor item. I have saved all of the labels from all of the garments used, and will arrange them neatly on a matt and have them framed. They will be a part of the history and charm of the rug. I only used 100% wool fabrics. The three strand braid is 1"wide. The rug thickness is a @5/8" thick. As my grandmother would say, "You can never wear out a wool braided rug. They 'ugly out' before they 'wear out'." God bless my grandmother for teaching me so many wonderful craft disciplines.

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What advice would you give someone starting this project? Get as many garments as possible. There will be quite a bit of waste, but the end result is so rewarding. I got my garments at the thrift stores for a quarter a piece. So far I have around $2.50 invested in wool. I want to make it much larger, so will have to go on another 'thrift store run' soon. A wonderful project . In years past our grandmothers braided rugs as far as they could go with the wool they had, tucked the ends under and used the rug on the floor until they got more wool, and then kept adding until it was completed. My grandmother had one that she worked on for 4 years. So it is a good project to pick up and put down and be able to use all the time. One last thing, because a braided rug is 'laced togeether' and NOT SEWN together, the rug is reversible. This attribute makes the rug a very desireable addition to the hom. Lacing is also makes assembly very fast and extremly strong. Basically the only tools you need is 2" rug strips, thread to sew the strips in one long strip of wool for each braid leg, large safety pins, a lacing tool (which can be made from a popsicle stick), and lacing cord (linen is best, but I also use hemp), and I also like to use beeswax to draw my lacing cord through to make it more waterproof, and to give strength to the cord.

dottyeb on

Here is a site that has videos/DVDs on braiding rugs. Marge makes beautiful rugs, all from NEW wool. Her techniques are impeccable. There is a 'sample' video to preview.

04/18/2014 Flag

I was taught to use a metal "blackhead remover" tool from the drugstore beauty area as my needle. It slides in and out of the loops easily and has two different size holes, one per end.

07/19/2014 Flag

I'm sure that would work well too. I have my grandmother's metal one, then I purchased a new one from a company that sells supplies for rug making, and made several wooden ones out of popsicle sticks. Might have to try the 'blackhead' one. Thanks.

07/25/2014 Flag

My mother in law gave me a lot of old wool coats, when I say a lot, I mean maybe 4 or 5 arm loads (all I could carry in one load). She had planed on making rugs but she has decided to let me give it a try. She is in her 80,s. So I plan on washing the coats, then start to cut them up. Thank you for this post, it has inspired me.

03/22/2015 Flag

Do you have any suggestions about how to cut the coats up?

03/22/2015 Flag